‘It’s a pattern of controlling the press.’ The ‘events are pre-packaged.’ This is what Helen Thomas, the Grande Dame of The White House press briefing room, told White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the ‘town hall meeting’ that President Obama has planned. Another infomercial. ‘Yes, and if you act now (vote for everything that I think is good for you, you don’t have to read it), you’ll get a second one absolutely FREE.’ Emphasis on ‘free.’
Of course I have to agree with both Chip Reid and Helen Thomas that it is disingenuous to call it something that it is not, where questions solicited over the internet are screened in advance, and they pick and choose the ones they want to answer.
That is not any-one’s definition of a town hall meeting. This is a town hall show. I wonder if someone from Air America radio is advising David Axelrod on how to fool the American people? This is similar to the way that Air America radio host Mike Papantonio and Robert Kennedy Jr run their Ring of Fire radio show. That show is to talk radio as this ‘town hall’ event is to a town hall event.
Frankly, I’m glad to see the media standing up, instead of laying down, to Gibbs (the administration) on the willful deception going on in The White House. They have certainly come a long way since the presidential campaign season when they had enough ‘plants’ in ‘debates’ that were run by them to open up a roadside stand. In either case, it is the same deception. Is this the change you were expecting?
This video is noteworthy just for the sheer incompetence on display in the performance of the White House Press Secretary. This is a real gem.
In responding to Helen Thomas telling Gibbs that the White House screens the questions and calls reporters on the night before to tell them that they will call on them at the ‘town hall’ meeting, Gibbs responds to Thomas with ‘eh, we’ve had this discussion ad nauseum’ and then points to someone else to change the subject. But not before she responds with ‘of course you would, you don’t have any answers.’ Priceless.
See the entire exchange below. Get the kids and some popcorn, you will want to see this again and again.