As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

When The Press Corps Attacks

The White House Press Corps has had it. They're tired of the games, the evasions, the disrespect. They will boldly stand up for their profession and not hold back any more. Now the truth can be told. They will ask the penetrating, uncomfortable questions that no Press Secretary wants to hear.

They are going to finally call out the Administration for their lies in the run-up to Iraq!

No, scratch that, they're going to be pissy about Robert Gibbs walking in 20 minutes late to a briefing.

As the daily press briefing began this afternoon at 2:07pmET, several members of the White House press corps spoke up to press secretary Robert Gibbs about his tardiness.

FishbowlDC reports that the briefing began about 20 minutes after the two minute warning was given and that ABC's Jake Tapper "had taken charge with two visits to the Lower Press office to complain during the long wait."

By the time Gibbs arrived, members of the press corps could be heard complaining saying things like, "it irritates everybody here."

We hear the late briefings are a pattern, and that it was not an issue during the Bush administration.

On one level, reporters have deadlines, and this particular breed of reporters needs Gibbs to do their job. So fine. On another level, Gibbs was apparently late this time because he was talking to the President about an issue sure to come up in the briefing. Also, of all the things to finally blow their stack about, the press corps reaches their limit on punctuality? Lie to them, fine, just don't make them sit in an air-conditioned room for an extra five minutes. Show some respect for the office like George W. Bush did.

By the way, if Gibbs were prompt, maybe the press would have more time for scintillating, piercing questions like this.

MS. ROMANO: The teleprompter changed last night.

MR. GIBBS: Mm-hmm.

MS. ROMANO: What was that about that? It's a big jumbotron now.

MR. GIBBS: You know can I tell you this?


MR. GIBBS: I am absolutely amazed that anybody in America cares about who the President picks at a news conference or the mechanism by which he reads his prepared remarks. You know, I guess America is a wonderful country.

MS. ROMANO: You're saying this is all Washington Beltway stuff?

MR. GIBBS: I don't even know if it's that. I don't think I should implicate the many people that live in Washington.

MR. GIBBS: No, I you know, I don't think the President let me just say this: My historical research has demonstrated that the President is not the first to use prepared remarks nor the first to use a teleprompter.

I'm all for a vigorous press fighting for their rights to access, but when they continually take their cues from Matt Drudge headlines, isn't Gibbs' tardiness a virtue and not a vice?

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