Gibbs Asked How Much Influence Beck, O’Reilly, And Breitbart Have On White House
The big news in today’s White House press briefing was Gibbs’ official apology to former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod, coming off the heels of the release of a complete speech of which an excerpt was used to brand her a racist and subsequently cost her her job. But in probing for the reason why this story unfolded this way, one reporter wrankled Robert Gibbs into asking why the media covers departures in the Obama administration at all.
The reporter, Jonathan Weisman, asked Gibbs how he would explain or evaluate the influence that right wing commentators like Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart, and Bill O’Reilly have on the way the administration functions, given the firing of Sherrod and previous scandals that left top Obama officials like Van Jones without a job. “None of them are, at this moment, members of this administration,” he quipped, so how does he explain the influence?
“Why do you do stories on all three of them?” Gibbs replied, referring to the three departures from the White House Weisman brought up. “I was asked a larger question about this,” he continued, “and my answer doesn’t change.”
When asked again, Gibbs once again repeated his question asking why the media covers the White House departures at all, to which Weisman replied, “I’m not sure what that question is.”
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