Tense White House exchange

Today on Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds described it this way:

“Shockingly, Robert Gibbs’ personal charm is beginning to lose its luster…”

Yahoo! News
Friday, December 4, 2009

Contentious exchanges between White House press secretaries and members of the media have been fairly commonplace during the past few presidential administrations.

However, the one that took place Wednesday between White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and April Ryan of American Urban Radio, in which Gibbs essentially compared Ryan to a petulant child, is among the most heated (and entertaining) in recent memory.

The testy exchange was sparked by Ryan’s insistent questioning of White House social secretary Desiree Rogers’ role at the recent state dinner, which has been in the headlines because of the fallout from Tareq and Michaele Salahi’s “party crashing.”

Ryan claimed that there have been whispers around Washington insinuating that Rogers had overstepped the traditional role of her title at the event to become the “belle of the ball,” thus “overshadowing the first lady.” Frustrated by Ryan’s tabloid-y line of questioning, Gibbs instructed her to “calm down” and to take a deep breath,” adding “I do this with my son and that’s what happens.”

As the press corps cringed, murmured and chuckled at Gibbs’ chastising, Ryan shot back: “Don’t play with me.” Check it out:

In the end, Gibbs recommended that they return to more weighty issues, “like 98,000 men and women in Afghanistan.

— Brett Michael Dykes is a contributor to the Yahoo! News Blog

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