Gannons to the Left of Me: Bill Press Asks a Pro-Obama, Anti-Beck Question at White House Briefing

In 2005, NBC and MSNBC and CNN were up in arms that conservative “Jeff Gannon” was allowed into the White House briefing room by Team Bush to ask “questions other reporters considered softballs.” Up until now, liberal talk-radio hosts like Ed Schultz have been seated in the front row of Obama press conferences, but they didn’t ask softball questions. On Thursday, it happened. Liberal radio host Bill Press asked press secretary Robert Gibbs to denounce Glenn Beck’s attacks on the president’s “committed Christianity.”
BILL PRESS: Robert, over the last four days, Glenn Beck has criticized the president for believing in liberation theology, which he calls a Marxist form of Christianity. Two questions, Does the president, in your knowledge, even know what liberation theology is?
ROBERT GIBBS: I don’t know the answer to that. I will say this, Bill, um, a crude paraphrasing of an old quote, and that is, people are entitled to their own opinion, as ill-informed as it may be, but they’re not entitled to their own facts. The president is a committed, mainstream Christian. I don’t, I have no evidence that would guide me, as to what [whether?] Glenn Beck would have any genuine knowledge as to what the president does and does not believe.
PRESS: So this Marxist form of Christianity?
GIBBS: Again, I can only imagine where Mr. Beck conjured that from.

The double-ignorance of this exchange is impressive. How can Bill Press suggest that Barack Obama is ignorant about anything? They're defending Obama now by suggesting he's uninformed about progressive strains of Christianity? For his part, Gibbs is stonewalling athletically to assert there's no evidence that any Obama opponent could assemble to assert Obama's church of two decades, Trinity United Church of Christ on the south side of Chicago, embraced "black liberation theology" and its leading light, James Cone. In defending Obama, the liberal magazine The Christian Century acknowledged:

There is no denying, however, that a strand of radical black political theology influences Trinity. James Cone, the pioneer of black liberation theology, is a much-admired figure at Trinity. Cone told me that when he's asked where his theology is institutionally embodied, he always mentions Trinity.

Video of the Meet Bill Press exchange is supportively offered at a Hillary Clinton-founded media pressure group.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis