Get Me To The Briefing Room On Time?

alex01thumbWhat’s that, CNN? Gibbs is late for briefings? Chronically so? Well, color me shocked. Really. I had no idea – no idea! – that people working in top government positions, including the White House’s face to the world, often have overbooked schedules and thus are late for lots of things. Sometimes, Gibbs’ lateness is a godsend for reporters who have, for whatever reason, fallen behind their own schedules. Yeah, it’s annoying waiting for someone, but it’s certainly not worth crying about on a well-respected news source. Do what I do when you know someone is “chronically late” – arrive on time and bring a book with you or something. Or, you know, write a butthurt story about how the person you’re meeting is late and go through the effort required to calculate how late they are, every day, overall. Whatever floats your oyster. (Do you need a certain patience threshold to be a White House correspondent? If so, I may fit the bill.)

Simply put, this is not news, this is drivel, this is pap. It’s like saying, “This just in: Kittens are adorable. Film at 11.”

The enemy of freedom!!!11!one`

The enemy of freedom!!!11!one`

And the commenters on the Political Ticker just lap it up. Using it to bash Obama, using it to bash Bush, using it to bash Gibbs, using it to bash Perino, using it to bash Benjamin Netanyahu (well, if comments weren’t closed I bet it would get to that stage). Yet another excuse to use the #CNNFail hashtag, which I’m growing to love more and more. You’re a journalist, so act like one. Report some actual news. The world doesn’t revolve around Robert Gibbs’ punctuality! I fully expect to see, within the next few days, a story about how David Axelrod is the next Mussolini for badgering his assistant to get him some Dairy Queen.

Obviously I’ve been watching too much Zero Punctuation. Come to think of it, there should be a Zero Punctuation-like series for news and politics. We could call it “You’re an Idiot, and Here’s Why”, or “Go Soak Your Head”. Ah well. I can dream.

In the meantime, please enjoy this musical take on the situation: Continue reading


Attempted Pwnage of Griff Jenkins Descends Into Chaotic Fun

My old pal, Griff Jenkins, became a target of opportunity for Adam Green of OpenLeft recently, as Jenkins had set up outside ACORN Headquarters to nab interviews with what I imagine he calls “henchmen.”  The biggest obstacle to successful pwnage here is Jenkins himself.  Dressed in a tuxedo and standing by a red commercial-grade doormat, Griff had already kinda pwned himself.

I’ve gotta give Griff some credit here, though.  While desperate in his avoidance of Green’s questions, Jenkins does seize on a decent point about the event staff allowing Green into a closed press event.

More to the point, though, as HuffPo’s Jason Linkins points out, Fox News personalities are quick to ambush other members of the media, but when the tables are turned, “I’m trying to work” becomes the mantra.  Aren’t we all, Griff?

President Obama’s Rumored Visit to Briefing Doesn’t Materialize

I was running very late for today’s White House Press Briefing when I got the follWhite_House_deskowing intriguing Tweet from Christina Bellantoni of the Washington Times:

For anyone interested … rumors someone may make a special appearance in WH briefing room very shortly. Tune in.about 5 hours ago from TweetDeck

As soon as I realized she wasn’t talking about me, I started hurrying more than I already was.  I parked my car and sprinted about a half-a-block before I hit what professional athletes call “the wall.”

Anyway, I eventually made it, heaving and panting like a Saint Bernard with a two-pack-a-day habit, only to find Robert Gibbs.  Not that there’s anything wrong with Gibbs.

So, it turns out I wasted all that time modifying my questions in my head (in between prayers for a quick end to my suffering).

I found out later that the rumor of an appearance by President Obama had its genesis with the presence of 2 White House photographers in the briefing room.  That’s pretty solid intel, but I would have expected a little more skepticism from a room full of journalists.

White House Doesn’t Know What Bush is Talking About Either

At today’s White House Press Briefing, Robert Gibbs was asked about former President Bush’s remarks at a speech last night.  Bush said:

I told you I’m not going to criticize my successor,” he said. “I’ll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don’t believe that persuasion isn’t going to work. Therapy isn’t going to cause terrorists to change their mind.

I was as surprised as anyone to learn that the former President believes that persuasion will work on terrorists.  As for the therapy part?   Here’s Gibbs’ exchange on the subject: Continue reading

#Iran-Twitter Revolution Poo-Pooer Jack Shafer Doesn’t Get it

Update: Andrew Sullivan somehow agrees with both of us.

I was probably one of many journalists who sat up and took notice of Twitter’s amazing role in the Iranian election twitteraftermath.  Of course, you can’t give anyone credit for anything without some naysayer coming along to say “Nay,” and Slate’s Jack Shafer fills the “beat the backlash” opening in this case:

Doubting Twitter: Let’s not get carried away about its role in Iran’s demonstrations.

OK, before I get started, let me re-print my own Twitter in Iran article at the end of this one, so you can see who’s getting carried where. This will save me some time, anyway. Continue: Continue reading