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Thursday, March 25, 2010

White House correspondents nail Gibbs on lack of Obama - Netanyahu pictures; UPDATED WITH VIDEO

There's probably video of this somewhere, but I'm too lazy to find it right now. This exchange with White House Press Secretary Gibbs is priceless.
TAPPER: Robert, you mentioned that the president asked Netanyahu for confidence-building measures with the Palestinians, and you mentioned that they have areas of agreement and disagreement. Can you be any more specific on that?

GIBBS: No. Not right now.

TAPPER: When you -- when the president holds events and does not allow photographers in, it implies that the president is hiding something, is not -- is embarrassed --

GIBBS: I -- I --

TAPPER: -- is embarrassed about something --

GIBBS: I would --

TAPPER: -- is uncomfortable for photographs of that event to be made public…

GIBBS: I disagree with all three of those characterizations.

TAPPER: Well, what's your response to people who say that the way that the president has welcomed Netanyahu to the White House has been as if he's embarrassed to be seen with Netanyahu, with -- not even allowing one of (White House photographer Pete) Souza's photographs of him? And the --

GIBBS: Again, we were very comfortable with the coverage for last night's meeting. They had a --

TAPPER: There wasn't -- There was no coverage.


GIBBS: We were comfortable with that.

(Cross talk.)

CHIP REID, CBS NEWS: You’re pleased when there's no coverage?


REID: What -- you're pleased when there's no coverage?

GIBBS: We're pleased that -- we were pleased with the way we set up the coverage for last night. Not every -- I knows this comes as a great shock to both you and to me but not everything the president does is for the cameras and for the press.

(Cross talk.)

It's something that --

TAPPER: Do you see no contradiction at all when the secretary of State goes before AIPAC and says that the U.S. has no stronger, no closer ally than Israel and then the president won't even allow a photograph of him and the Israeli prime minister --

GIBBS: No, I don't -- I don't see a contradiction at all.

TAPPER: …as if he's embarrassed to be seen with him?

GIBBS: I'd -- that's your characterization, not mine.

TAPPER: Is the president concerned about photographs of him and Netanyahu being seen in the world?

GIBBS: No, we've -- I'd -- I forget Mark Knoller's statistics, but I think there have been many pictures of -- and --

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Never of a one-on-one --

MR. GIBBS: -- many --

CHUCK TODD: -- not a -- not a single one-on-one.

GIBBS: No, that's not true. There was --

TODD: There was just the trio pictures.

MR. GIBBS: There -- no, that's not true. There was a spray in the Oval Office with just the two of them.

TAPPER: That's right.

CHUCK TODD: But not -- not the last time -- this is two times in a row --

GIBBS: No, that's true. Right.


Now that I'm awake....

Here's video of that press briefing. It's a long video, but luckily this is almost the first item on it. There's an exchange that starts at the 2:00 mark and ends at the 7:30 mark when he moves on to financial reform. The reporter with an accent is of course an Israeli (I'm not sure who it is). He goes back to it briefly at the 9:00 mark and then at the 11:30 mark they get into the exchange above and the pictures, which lasts until 13:45. They go back to it again around 19:30 until about 21:15 and again from around 28:00 until around 30:00. They get back into Israel again at 32:30 or so and it lasts until 33:45.

Let's go to the videotape.

Gibbs looks a little uncomfortable, doesn't he?


At 6:20 AM, Blogger biorabbi said...

Carl, for the first time in my entire life, I'm ashamed of my government=)

Obama is obviously trying to demonize Israel behind the scenes. Let the state department or Axelrod do the dirty work. It won't work from the electoral perspective of the upcoming elections(Jewish democrats) and the fundraising will take a hit.

HIs actions do not speak for me or the 63 % of Americans who value Israel's friendship.

BTW, I do not see his actions as just anti-Israel, but completely incompetent. To divide Israelis he should have used a better issue than the divisibility of Jerusalem.

I think that the Abbas crowd must be sitting in the sun eating popcorn. I cannot even blame them for not negotiating. What possible incentive would there be for any arab to negotiate with Israel at this juncture?

At 6:31 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Right. We wouldn't want to see the two men in obvious disagreement - now would we? The absence of pictures is in itself a message as to how the Obama-Netanyahu talks really went.

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why isn't Israel recalling their ambassador for consultations? That's what any self-respecting sovereign nation would do.

Oh, never mind. I just answered my own question.

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama really sux. The more he tries to punish Israel the less influence he'll have.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The treatment Netanyahu received has been described as "humiliating" in the Israeli press. Obama wants him to Cry Uncle on Jerusalem. But that is exactly what no Israeli Prime Minister can do. Israeli Jews may disagree on every thing else but Jerusalem is the one issue on which Israel cannot compromise. If that means relations with the US are not going to be as good they were before, so be it. Israel's answer to a hostile world is to keep building in Jerusalem and resume construction throughout Yesha. There is no longer any point in pretending America is an impartial broker or that the Palestinians want peace.

Its time Israel's government began looking out for the country's national interests first.


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