Thursday, February 11, 2010

White House Press Corps Slams Gibbs over Palin Joke.

I've heard it all now.

Apparently it's okay for Palin and others to mock Obama for his use of the teleprompter, but it's simply distasteful for Gibbs to mock Palin for using crib notes scrawled on her hand.

In her report, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux groused, "so much for changing the tone." Apparently, for this Democratic White House to jokingly respond to bitter attacks from former (or wannabee) Republican vice presidents is undignified and out-of-bounds. Of course, President Bush and his spokesmen could mock his opponents with impunity.

Chip Reid of CBS introduced this species of right-wing water carrying in March during the unprecedented barrage of attacks on Obama from former Vice President Dick Cheney. After Cheney first began his campaign to essentially label Obama a traitor ("he is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack"), press secretary Robert Gibbs joked, "Well, I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy, so they trotted out their next-most popular member of the Republican cabal." On March 16th, that was more than CBS White House correspondent Reid could countenance:
REID: Can I ask you, when you referred to the former Vice President, that was a really hard-hitting, kind of sarcastic response you had. This is a former Vice President of the United States. Is that the attitude -- is that the sanctioned tone toward the former Vice President of the United States from this White House now?
GIBBS: Sometimes I ask forgiveness rather than for permission, Chip. But no, I hope my sarcasm didn't mask the seriousness of the answer with which I addressed Ed -- that for seven-plus years, the very perpetrators that the Vice President says he's concerned about weren't brought to justice.
My difficulty with what Gibbs did is that I don't think he should have dignified Palin's remarks with any kind of response; it is simply beneath Obama to respond in any way to Palin's glib and snide tea party pleasing insults.

However, that aside, I find it hypocritical that the Washington press corps condemn Gibbs with comments like, "So much for changing the tone", as if the tone is set by the Democrats alone. It appears as if CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is insisting that Obama's White House simply shuts up and allows any criticism levelled at them by Republicans to stand unchallenged for the sake of bipartisanship.

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Milton said...

I guess Palin does not understand satire and she complains about telaprompters, what a hypocrite. Palin’s hand job just shows all of us what kind of dullard we are up against, I have not seen this since junior high. She is so perfect for "Fake News", so much for being a private citizen. WOW and some call her a leader.......please.

Steel Phoenix said...

I've found Gibbs to be one of the most condescending, least professional press secretaries in memory. I don't really have a problem with that, but he does strike me as an odd choice by a president who puts so much work into keeping his administration's image clean and positive.

Kel said...


I agree she is an utter waste of space.


I am not a huge fan of Gibbs, and I don't understand why he even felt the need to acknowledge Palin in the first place. It gives her more attention than she deserves.