Friday, December 4, 2009

Being a White House Correspondent

We have been talking here on this blog about the lack of professionalism in the media. April Ryan of American Urban Radio did not disappoint. I was appalled at her questions and the way in which she asked them. She asked tabloid-like questions about the "party crashers" and did not allow Gibbs to answer without rudely jumping in with responses like, "answer the question." Who does she think she's talking to and where does she think she is?

After being tested repeatedly White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, shot back with a clip of his own, instructing Ryan to "calm down" and "take a deep breath," adding "I do this with my son and that's what happens." The other news correspondents audibly respond. Gibbs is well known for his quick terse responses. I have written of him here.

Ryan became more petulant. "Don't play with me." Or else? I wonder if she forgot where she was. She was in the briefing room at the White House questioning whether the Social Secretary, Desiree Rogers, came to the state dinner to be the "belle of the ball" thereby "overshadowing the first lady." I have never seen such ignorance and disrespect of the Office of the President. There are serious issues to address in this country and April Ryan has fallen way short. American Urban Radio should reassign her.

The funny thing is that I used to watch Ryan during the last administration and I never saw such disrespect or familiarity at the White House then. Her questions during this recent briefing were inappropriate, not to mention her tone and neck bending sista from the hood responses. It's like Shaniqua was in the House. The only problem is that this was not Ryan's house. In fact, if I was at home my mother would have set me straight immediately as Gibbs did. Well, I guess Gibbs is not her parent. Oh, well. I thought he was more than patient.

Don't take my word for it. Watch this exchange in the White House briefing room:



What do you think? Should Ryan continue in her position? Was Gibbs' response appropriate?

9 comments:

Bob Foster said...

I believe the quality of journalism in general, at least the mainstream media, has deteriorated to the point of "Tabloidism." Is it any wonder that (news)papers and network news is falling to pieces?

Incidentally, I think Gibbs is a remarkable Press Secretary--I don't know how he does it. I'd like to strangle some of those so-called journalists.

Judith Ellis said...

YES, Bob! I couldn't agree more. I also agree that Gibbs is "remarkable." He is so adroit at handling the White House correspondents: skillful, funny, quick, knowledgeable, and substantive. I love the guy. I think it's interesting that the title of the youtube clip is "Gibbs compares Black Female WH Reporter to Child." It doesn't matter to me the color of this reporter. Her questions, responses and tone are completely inappropriate. Your strangle comment made me laugh aloud.

John O'Leary said...

Wow. She needs some clinical support. Whatever Gibbs gets paid, it's not enough.

Judith Ellis said...

I agree, John. Gibbs is probably not paid well enough to handle the assaults he receives on a regular basis. But this was way over the top.

zorro said...

I saw her interviewed on CNN last night. She does not seem to be aware of how over the top her behavior was. The interviewer compared what she did to an incident where David Gregory got in a heated exchange with a Bush press secretary over questions regarding the Iraq war. Getting heated over a war is much different than getting heated over an action of the Social Secretary. Does anyone even know who the Social Secretary was for any other administration?

Judith Ellis said...

"Getting heated over a war is much different than getting heated over an action of the Social Secretary."

Uh...yeah, Zorro. But even here I think that reporters cannnot forget where they are and who the Press Secretary is standing in for. I believe in honoring the position, evven when disagreeing with policy. While President Bush and Dick Cheney were in office, I was very conscious of their positions and sought to honor them even when I passionately disagreed with their policy. Cheney now makes it very difficult indeed and I have been, shall we say, less reverential. I'd like to catch that interview with April Ryan to really get her perspective. The problem is if she doesn't see her behavior as over the top THAT is a problem in and of itself.

Corrie Howe said...

Is it her position or it is her generation and culture? Sometimes I wonder if our parents didn't do something right, despite the backlash.

Judith Ellis said...

Excellent question, Corrie. I have wondered the same thing.

Kimm said...

Wow! How embarrassing!?!! That was not important at all. Tell me that was a publicity stunt. I haven't seen anything like it...yes, disrespectful totally!