UPDATED: Obama Watching Self on HBO Misreported; Gibbs Misquoted
UPDATE: Fox News misreported Gibbs' press gaggle comments. He did not claim President watched HBO special on election night.
During the 10AM ET hour of America’s Newsroom on Fox News Channel, fill-in co-host Martha Maccallum told viewers what President Obama watched on election night while Democrats suffered big losses in New Jersey and Virginia: “Robert Gibbs said, well, he was actually watching, you know, the HBO special about his year-long campaign and how it all went.”
On Tuesday night the White House had worked to downplay the Democratic gubernatorial defeats by claiming the President did not watch the election returns. Apparently Gibbs thought it would look better if the commander in chief was watching a self-indulgent fawning documentary about himself. Interestingly, Obama apparently previewed the HBO special a few days earlier, as Gibbs himself explained to the blog Talking Points Memo: “White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says Obama has already seen ‘By the People’...Gibbs told TPMDC Obama’s review: ‘Thumbs up!’”
On FNC, Maccallum noted: “...we know that Michelle and the girls went to the Miley Cyrus concert last night... So he’s all alone in that big house, right? Nothing to do but sit back and watch – reminisce about the long campaign and watch HBO and the special.” The HBO documentary, ‘By the People,’ debuted on Tuesday, in commemoration of the one year anniversary of Obama’s election.