First, sorry for the light blogging today. I think I’ve overdone it the last few days in terms of playing catch-up both in my personal life and at the 8-5 after my week and a half long bout with the swine flu, and I came home tonight with a headache, lingering cough, and a feeling of being wiped out so I decided to take the night off from blogging.
That said, after quickly checking the headlines tonight, I have to give mega-props to ABC News Sr. WH Correspondent Jake Tapper, who over the last few years has been one of the few major bright spots in what is otherwise known to most of us as the sorry state of “mainstream media journalism,” where journalists more often than not take sides – and most of the time, it’s the “left side” they take rather than the objective side. Tapper, no stranger to asking this WH tough questions few other journalists would dare to (and who was just as tough with the Bush WH), took WH Press. Sec. Robert Gibbs to task today for the WH’s declaration of war on Fox News:
Tapper: It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one –
Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.
Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say –
Gibbs: ABC –
Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?
Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.
Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” — why is that appropriate for the White House to say?
Gibbs: That’s our opinion.
There’s no video of the exchange, because it was an “off-camera WH briefing”, but Fox News’ Bret Baier discussed it tonight during the Political Grapevine segment of Special Report. Here’s the video – he starts at about the 1:45 mark:
Note at the end how Baier talks about how Fox confirmed with the WH that the attendees of Monday’s the off the record briefing with President Obama included MSDNC’s Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann. What foul-smelling hypocrisy, but not exactly surprising.
For some classic clips of Tapper vs. Gibbs, click here.
Related: Brit Hume, the most adorable journalist ever, weighed in on his former show Special Report last night on the Obama WH’s targeting of Fox News for ridicule and containment. Read/listen/watch what he had to say here.