Nightline co-anchor Bill Weir on Monday couldn't help but fawn over former Obama White House social Secretary Desiree Rogers, lauding her as a "fashionable, vivacious, interesting, telegenic person in a town with not a lot of that, frankly."
The journalist failed to offer much in the way of tough questions. Regarding the 2009 fiasco of having Michaele and Tareq Salahi crash a state dinner with the President, Weir gently wondered, "...What are your thoughts now that that night won't be remembered for [being a success]?"
Instead, he hyped, "But in those heady days of Obama mania, how could anyone ignore the well heeled woman in charge of the guest list? The one who fit right in with Anna Wintour, Kanye West at fashion week, the one who beat the First Lady into the pages of Vogue?"
A second Obama administration veteran has landed in a media firm’s executive suite. Two months after ObamaCare’s chief propagandist, ex-ABC and CBS correspondent Linda Douglass, became Vice President of the Atlantic Media Company, Michael Calderone reported Tuesday afternoon on “The Upshot” Yahoo News blog:
Former White House social secretary Desirée Rogers has been named chief executive of Johnson Publishing Company, billed as “the world's largest African-American owned-and-operated publishing company.” JPC publishes both Ebony and Jet magazines.
The news about Rogers came the very week MSNBC entered a partnership with the Chicago-based Ebony magazine to air joint reports on education policy, culminating in a two-hour special at noon EDT this Sunday: “Making the Grade.”
Calderon reminded readers that “Rogers, a former corporate executive and a Chicago friend of the Obama family, resigned in February from her position as the first African-American social secretary” after she “came under fire during her White House tenure after socialites-turned-reality-TV stars Tareq and Michaele Salahi famously crashed a state dinner.”
The Sunday Arts & Style section of The Washington Post offered the paper’s pronouncements on "The Best and Worst of 2009." The most noteworthy list came on Fashion from Post fashion writer Robin Givhan. It might seem shocking that both Michelle Obama and her social secretary Desiree Rogers ended up on the Worst list. What’s more shocking is that they’re mentioned on the Best list, too – six times.
Before we get to those specifics, Givhan was crystal clear in her distaste for conservative beauty queen Carrie Prejean, putting her on the Worst list for what she said, not what she wore. Notice Givhan avoids using her actual name:
4. Miss California USA epitomizes all the reasons beauty queens should just stick to professing their support for world peace. When you stoop to calling Larry King inappropriate on his own show, you know it's time to just shut your trap.
Maybe they didn’t know it, but The New York Times left a Christmas bomb in paragraph 12 of its syrupy Sunday story on Desiree Rogers, the bumbling Obama social secretary.
Reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg sweetly touted Rogers: "Willowy and fashion-forward, with a chic pixie haircut, a designer wardrobe, and a Harvard M.B.A.," she "promptly broke the dowdy mold for the job." She also was culturally savvy enough to transform the White House into a "nerve center for creativity and culture."
But then there was the bomb. In a description of how Rogers would make sure the White House was "Obama-tized," Stolberg noted Rogers would bend tradition to make Christmas much more secular in the new era:
When former social secretaries gave a luncheon to welcome Ms. Rogers earlier this year, one participant said, she surprised them by suggesting the Obamas were planning a "non-religious Christmas" -- hardly a surprising idea for an administration making a special effort to reach out to other faiths.
Ryan was pressing Gibbs over whether Desiree Rogers, the White House social secretary, essentially "invited herself" 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.
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.
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):
While ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today questioned Obama White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett on the breach of security at last week’s state dinner, her appearance was conspicuously absent from the CBS Early Show on Thursday. The CBS morning show has made a consistent effort to downplay the administration’s role in party crashing scandal.
On Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts wondered why White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers would not be testifying before Congress on the issue: “But, first, I want to ask you about the congressional hearing today. And ask you why isn't the social secretary, Desiree Rogers, testifying today before Congress?....you know that leaves people thinking, Valerie, that there’s something more.”
Similarly, on Today, co-host Meredith Vieira asked Jarrett: “White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers. She was the point person for that event. She is the one who failed to assign aides to vet guests at those checkpoints. She’s the one who named herself a guest instead of a staffer, and yet, she is not being investigated. The Secret Service is, but not her. Do you think she should be investigated?”
NBC's Meredith Vieira was so excited about White House social secretary Desiree Rogers' decision to honor St. Patrick's Day by having the White House fountain spray green water, that she exclaimed: "You're doing a fantastic job." But if the new social secretary, indeed, was doing such a "fantastic" job where was she when the decision was made to give the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown the tacky gift of 25 DVDs?
Vieira, on Tuesday's "Today" show, interviewed Rogers as she stood in front of the green fountain and cooed that the Obamas: "Want this White House to be more accessible to the folks around the country. They call it the people's house." and asked, "How much input do they have in all of these decisions, Desiree, that are made?" Rogers responded that "we talk weekly about these decisions." However Vieira never questioned if it was the Obamas or Rogers that decided a box set of DVDs was a proper gift for Brown, considering the British Prime Minister delivered, as Newsbusters' Warner Todd Huston pointed out, the more thoughtful gifts of a: "Pen holder carved from the timbers of the sister ship of that which gave the wood to create the famous ‘Resolute Desk,' the desk that has been in America's charge since 1880. He also gave Obama the framed commission for that famous ship, the HMS Resolute. His third gift was a seven-volume biography of one of England's greatest leaders, Winston Churchill."
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the March 17, edition of the "Today" show: