Yesterday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” host Howard Kurtz assembled a panel to discuss the topic, “Obama vs. Cable News: Does Conflict Drive Coverage?”
At one point in the discussion Kurtz asked panelist Ed Henry, CNN Senior White House Correspondent, “Prime time is the time for the opinion shows, particularly on MSNBC and Fox, as you point out. Do you get a lot of private push back from the White House about the coverage?”
Sometimes, and I’ll give you one quick story, which is, recently, I was on a health care segment, and I was on Wolf Blitzer’s show. And I did a segment that was actually pointing out some new poll numbers that suggested maybe the public was turning towards the president. But when I came back to my desk in the White House, on my way back I passed Robert Gibbs’ office, and Gibbs and some of his colleagues were in there, and they were kind of yelling at me, and Gibbs was calling me on the phone because he was angry about it.
I went into his office. It turned out that the chyron had said on the bottom — the graphic said something like “Desperate move by the president” to have this speech to a joint session of Congress. And I said, “But did you listen to what I was saying?” And Gibbs’ said with a laugh, to his credit, “We had the sound off.”
As Henry points out – at least Gibbs didn’t try to take himself too seriously.