Theodore's World: Gibbs vs.UK Press

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May 30, 2009

Gibbs vs.UK Press

Robert Gibbs, rattled by Telegraph story, lashes out at British press


Posted By: Toby Harnden
US Editor

It's difficult to know where to start with the extraordinary outburst by Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary, after he was asked about the Telegraph story based on an interview with Maj Gen (Retd) Antonio Taguba, author of a 2004 report into the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal.

Gibbs didn't feel he was on sure enough ground to attack Taguba or deny the Telegraph's story so he attempted this..............................



Lashes out at British media

Politico 44

Robert Gibbs swatted down reports in British newspapers that suppressed photos of prisoner abuse included graphic ... images of torture and rape — and took a hard shot at the overseas media.

“I want to speak generally about some reports I’ve witnessed over the past few years in the British media. And in some ways, I’m surprised it filtered down,” Gibbs began. “Let’s just say if I wanted to look up — if I wanted to read a writeup today of how Manchester United fared last night in the Champion’s League cup, I might open up a British newspaper. If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I’m not entirely sure it’d be in the first pack of clips I’d pick up.”
“You're not going to find very many of these newspapers and truth within 25 words of each other,” Gibbs continued.


Back to the article by the

The Obama White House seems to view the British media as insufficiently compliant and respectful. They were intensely irritated about UK coverage of the DVDs gift fiasco - pushing American reporters very hard not to write about it.

Obama himself gave a little flash of his disdain for the British press at his G20 press conference when he took a question from Justin Webb of the BBC and noted the hubbub in the hall. "See, everybody's complaining," he said. "I'm sure that's all your fellow British journalists."

All this flies in the face of Obama's promises. In February 2008, he told me: "As somebody who myself lived overseas for a time, the world would see me as a different kind of president, somebody who could see the world through their eyes."

Well how can you do that when your press secretary trashes the press of your foremost foreign ally and suggests that only American journalists can report US politics?

President George W. Bush was clearly irritated by the British press on occasions, particularly the practice of visiting UK reporters to remain in their seats while their American counterparts stood up. But he engaged in banter and even came to enjoy the often very direct questioning from the likes of Nick Robinson of the BBC.

Bush, of course, gave many more foreign press interviews than Obama has. He regularly held foreign press round tables before overseas trips - a tradition that Obama, who prefers US outlets - particularly niche magazines who are guaranteed to ask soft questions - seems to have dispensed with.


Wild Thing's comment........

The original article was VERY straightforward, merely reporting the fact that Obama changed his mind (rightly, in my opinion) on this issue and not commenting on that change of mind. So I don't really see what the WH is so upset about. It is a simple statement of fact, nothing more.

For the most part I appreciate the,, and the Canadian Free Press they have had many stories that either never show up in our media other then at Fox, or days later with the slant on them that CNN and MSNBC does to the news.

LOL I wonder if Obama understands that the Telegraph doesn’t care what Obama thinks and probably won’t respond well to thug tactics?

Posted by Wild Thing at May 30, 2009 05:45 AM


Why would the American Press believe a foreign newspaper over our own Department of Defense. The Press still wants all of the photos released. Why ?

They refuse to believe our DoD, 'they, afterall, lie all the time.' That is the impression I get form that question.

Someday, these morons in the Press will realize that obama, their press created messiah, is the Liar.

Posted by: Mark at May 30, 2009 07:59 AM

BBC, isn't that a CBS subsidiary? Since when is truth relevant? The media disseminates what it believes not what is told regardless of the veracity of the message.

That said, world respect begins at home, for the past 28 - 30 years the Democrat attack machine has totally controlled the media, the GOP sitting president has been portrayed as a bumbling idiot bent on war and murder while the sitting Democrat has been portrayed as the world's benevolent compassionate care giver.

Well over 8 years of BDS propaganda by the self serving Democrats and their sycophant media have tainted the worlds media to the same extent that they are jaundiced, that the United States and what it represents is evil. No different than the Muzzies saying they represent peace then broadcasting their beheadings of infidels to verify their sincerity, the world draws it's conclusions from the media.

So be it, respect begins with self respect, when you stand on the world's stage and vilify your own kind don't expect to be respected by foreign entities when you disrespect yourselves. How about it Dixie Chicks, Martin Sheen, Sean Penn? It's endless.

Today we can communicate with loved ones in the battle field via the internet, even to submarines at sea, not so 40 years ago. Some had access to MARS but most of us went over an entire year without a telephone call. Snail mail:)

In '68, I purchased a shortwave radio to get the news from around the world,local news wasn't good nor did I trust the source controlled by AFRS. It was amazing what Russia was saying, what China was saying, what the North Vietnamese were broadcasting, what Australia, London's BBC, VOA, Radio Free Europe and and the big guns in the States were saying.
Wherein lies the truth? You have to take all you can get then sort the wheat from the chaff.

Same thing when I moved to Alaska, out came that radio. In the Arctic the nearest station was a Christian and state funded AM radio (PBS), 250 miles away, at Pt. Barrow, just out of radio range, i.e. no radio, TV or news.

Local TV was taped rerun broadcasts of Seattle, Washington or Portland, Oregon's TV, neither media known to be fair and balanced,like movies on board a ship they were recycled over and over.

Telephone service was the undersea cable between Alaska and the outside, slow, fickle and expensive, intrastate telephones were "Bushphones", radio-telephones and radio-telephones relay stations to get out into the 'Bush', even to and from the three major cities. You were in deep doo doo anywhere else.

Local radio and TV had a captive audience, stale information, 6 to 24 hours late and censored for brevity.
The point being when communication satellites were put up all that went out the door, we who had been in the dark had instant news, instant phone access, access to personal computers, the connection rate went from $12/hr for the GE connection down to $3/hr plus long distance charges, then along came the internet where everyone had instant access to information for the price of the ISP and no long distance charge.

So did the rest of the world get that same instant unfiltered "news", calling your president BushMcHitler, or ChimpHitler in public or to his face on camera for all to see.

Those cartoon caricatures out of Hollywood of Reagan with his hand on the Nuke triggers and bumbling around in a mental fog as a demented senile fool where he eventually presses the button while fumbling for something on the nightstand is not only disrespectful but demeaning, not only to the administration but to each and everyone of us.

The American press created this and are perpetuating it every day, worse yet Obama is cranking out his own propaganda flicks from the oval office. Himmler and Goebbels must be smiling at him.

My rant is over, I don't feel safer, better informed or secure with all these liars in office and in the media, that includes the top of the line, Fox. In the world of credibility,it's incredible. Isn't it Geraldo???

Posted by: Jack at May 30, 2009 10:43 AM

Those who live by the media, may die by the media.

Gibbs is a dim bulb with the job of lying for his boss. He does a poor job and the press, especially the WH press corps is already smelling the blood for a feeding frenzy.

The press gave us Obama. They promoted him, praised him, exaggerated him, covered his tracks, belittled his competition, ignored his lies and gaffes. Once he gets a few cuts and bleeds a bit though, the press will begin nibbling. The press did this to their boy Carter. In his final days as president he was villified by the press. Carter was very stupid.

The press tried to an extent with Clinton after his faults became more than blatant. However, Bill was sharp and quick and bad press was never a problem to him. Obama is not as sharp as Clinton. If he doesn't have his teleprompters and handlers, Obama is almost incoherent. Once he stumbles the press will attack. Even though they don't want to. Sensationalism is in their souls and they will go for the throat when it is presented. American or British, it doesn't matter. Sensationalism is the sell.

Posted by: TomR at May 30, 2009 02:13 PM

Mark, I think so too, I wonder how many
of the White House media in their gut
see through all of this and just do what
they do to keep their jobs. Dreaming maybe
but I like to think some actually have a
brain.... naw they don't it is only a
dream or a wish. hahaha

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 30, 2009 07:42 PM

Jack, excellent rant!

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 30, 2009 07:46 PM

Tom, they sure will.

"Those who live by the media, may die by the media"

Yes Gibbs kind of reminds me of Baghdad Bob.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 30, 2009 07:52 PM