President Obama playing golf at the Mid Pacific Country Club in Kailua, Hawaii, Dec. 28, 2010.

Unlike many of her colleagues in punditry, Rachel Maddow doesn’t ridicule the White House press corps for making a big deal of its exclusion from a presidential golf outing with Tiger Woods over the weekend. Instead she focuses on the trend in which our country’s top officials bypass the official media in favor of direct chats with citizens, often with the able assistance of the Internet.

She notes that Parents magazine recently held a Facebook Q & A with Vice President Biden, complete with impressive questions such as: “Should parents who don`t have guns in their homes demand to know which of their children`s friends are gun owners?”

She also cited these questions, from other online forums with the White House: “Should Internet freedom be added to the party platform of the Democratic Party? Should Democrats take a stand on that as a party?…The mortgage interest deduction that helps people afford their homes, what’s going to be happening to that? And will the White House take action to limit the abuse of software patents? Would they, for example, support limiting software patents to just five years?”

Here’s the part that concerns Maddow: That the questions from everyday citizens seem to be distinct from the questions that the White House press corps poses. “It is worrying about the press corps that those two streams of questions being directed at the White House from citizens and from the Beltway press often seem like they are from two totally different universes.”

“Worrying,” really? What about refreshing?