White House's Gibbs Talks Down to Reporter, Dismissing Her Gate-crashers Question

Yesterday at the daily White House press briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs talked down to reporter <a href="http://www.aurnol.com/networks/renaissance/whitehouse_report.asp" target="_blank">April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks (AURN)</a>, a  journalist with nearly a quarter-century of experience.<p>Ryan was pressing Gibbs over whether Desiree Rogers, the White House social secretary, essentially &quot;invited herself&quot; to last week's state dinner in honor of the Indian Prime Minister. Rogers has come under scrutiny for failing to have either herself or other social office staffers accompany Secret Service staffers who conducted security screenings for the dinner.</p><p>Gibbs, annoyed by Ryan pressing the matter, chided Ryan to calm down and suggesting that she was throwing a tantrum much like his son sometimes does.</p><p>I've included a partial transcript and CSPAN's video embed below the page break. Advance the embedded video above to about the 31:00 timestamp to see the relevant exchange (h/t Tim Graham):</p><blockquote><!--break--><p>APRIL RYAN: Did she invite herself to the state dinner or was she a guest of, did the president invite her, or did she put her name on, no, that's a real question, do not fan [sic] at all. </p><p>ROBERT GIBBS: I, I, Jonathan?</p><p>RYAN: I'm serious. No, seriously? Did she invite herself or did the president ask her. Her name was on that list and social secretaries are the ones who put the names on the list. </p><p>GIBBS: Right. </p><p>RYAN: Did she invite herself, or did the president--</p><p>GIBBS: Right, was she at the dinner? April, April, calm down. Just take a deep breath for one second. See, this happens with my son. He does the same thing.</p><p>[reporters in the briefing room: Oooooh!]</p><p>RYAN: Don't play with me! </p><p>GIBBS: I'm not.</p><p>RYAN: I'm being serious. Do not blow at all.</p><p>GIBBS: And I'm giving you a serious answer. Was she at the dinner? Yes. </p><p>RYAN: Was she an invited guest?</p><p>GIBBS: She's the social secretary. She had the primary responsibility--</p><p>RYAN: No, social secretaries are not guests of the dinner.</p><p>GIBBS: She had the primary responsibility for running the dinner. I'm going to get back to weightier topics like 98,000 men and women in Afghanistan.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><object id="cspan-video-player" classid="clsid:d27cdb6eae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#ve... align="middle" height="500" width="510"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="true"></param><param name="movie" value="http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/assets/swf/CSPANPlayer.swf"></pa... name="quality" value="high"></param><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="flashvars" value="system=http://www.c-spanvideo.org/flashXml/216228&amp;style=full"></param><embed src="http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/assets/swf/CSPANPlayer.swf" name="cspan-video-player" base="http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/assets/swf/" allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#ffffff" quality="high" allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" flashvars="system=http://www.c-spanvideo.org/flashXml/216228&amp;style=full" align="middle" height="500" width="510"></embed></object>

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters