July 31st, 2009
05:59 PM ET
5 years ago

White House mocks coverage of 'Beer Summit'

(CNN) – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Friday mocked the media's coverage of what has been termed the 'Beer Summit' with President Obama, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Sergeant James Crowley.

"I'm going to go off the cuff for a little bit," Gibbs told reporters during the White House daily briefing. "My favorite was - I'm going to have to pick on my good friends at NBC - 'Ale to the Chief' was the icon…complete with a countdown clock to 6:00."

"But here was the topper," Gibbs continued in a disbelieving tone, drawing chuckles from the press corps. "Not only are we calling it the 'Beer Summit.' In stories, [it was] interspersed with other 'summits' of the White House, including footage of Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat."

Hours before the so-called 'Beer Summit' took place Thursday, President Obama also made light of the media's treatment of the event.

"I noticed this has been called the 'Beer Summit.' It's a clever term, but this is not a summit, guys," Obama told reporters Thursday. "This is three folks having a drink at the end of the day, and hopefully giving people an opportunity to listen to each other. And that's really all it is. This is not a university seminar."


Filed under: Robert Gibbs
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Randolph Carter

    At least he didn't say that the media behaved stupidly. Nyuk nyuk nyuk. Have a nice day!

    July 31, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Mississippi Mike

    The rest of us mock the beer summit and the roles of Gates and Obama. The vibe on the street is that everyone was just happy that Obama wasn't enacting more of his disastrous policies.

    July 31, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Pat F

    Gibbs is right – the whole idea that a President would demean himself and his office by participation in this mock group hug and pseudo therapy session is really a new low for this administration.

    July 31, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    With matters as sensitive as this, I thinks it's imperative that the media knows where to draw the line with their questioning and coverage of such a topic.

    July 31, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Scary

    It is ridiculous that the media has covered this incident more than the 8 years of lies and the disaster of the Bush administration. I wish you had covered the WMD debacle like you covered this. Why aren't you'll talking about the lies that Sgt. Crowley was caught in and he wrote in his police report. The witness never ever spoke directly to him and did not describe "the suspects" as black men carrying backpacks.

    July 31, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. This is not a university seminar

    it is very much nothing

    now move on and get some work done

    no one should appologise for this, but we should LEAVE THE POLICE ALONE AND LET THEM DO THEIR JOB

    we had the police ambushed here in Oakland CA during a domestic call, there was someone waiting for them with a semi automatic rifle

    they have no idea what is waiting for them when they pull up

    Gates was playing with fire and 4 hours in custody is not good but not terrible – I don't think he was out of line, but the police also have their lives on the line

    July 31, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Grrr-awful-o

    Well, the administration is right about how laughable this all is. But I'm pretty sure that wasn't Obama's intention when he elevated it to a national headline news item by (unwisely) saying the police acted stupidly... when he didn't even know the facts. Too bad it happened because it makes our whole country look like a bunch of buffoons. I don't know... maybe we are now.

    July 31, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Roy

    I would not call this a beer summit either. I would call this our dofus clown like commander in training Obama trying to make up for his sticking his huge clown shoe in his mouth when he called this fine police officer stupid. Obama, you need to learn respect for law enforcement and dont spout off when you dont know the facts.

    July 31, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. S Callahan

    ..lol "Ale" to the Chief....lol ...that is a good one....lol
    Okay , that was fun...and at least we know Gibbs has a good sense of humor....now on to real things like what is going on in the North Korean trial.what was the sentance? Or how about ..American tourists detained in Iran? Just a beginning of some the stuff to report on....but we all know CNN is up to doing it's job (smile)

    July 31, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. tim chervenak

    I got into an argument last night after my softball game over a game of bags. I called my opponent stupid. I was wondering if we should meet at the White House for some beer and discussion.

    July 31, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Chrissy, TX

    What's with all the petty shooting the breeze stuff??? This country is on economic free fall and these clowns at the white house are putting emphasis on this crap! None of this wouldn't have happened if the stupid president hadn't commented at all, especially without any facts. Goes to show you his real colors, he didn't sit in Rev. Wright's church for nothing!

    July 31, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. CF

    "Ale to the Chief" is my favorite. "The Audacity of Hops" courtesy MSNBC was also good.

    July 31, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. dg

    gibbs...your such an idiot and a fake...you are a waste of space

    July 31, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Mike in SA

    Let's see...the White House causes a stir...publicly invites the affected parties to the White House, taking special care to have Obama himself announce it to the WH Press Corp...instead of staging it in a more private setting inside of the White House, they stage it in the Rose Garden and invite the press...and then they mock the press for zealously covering it???

    This is almost like the Congressional Dems pushing through a $787 billion "stimulus" bill full of pet projects...amending it at 3 AM...pushing through a vote the very next morning...then mocking their unhappy constituents by publicly having a speed reader read amendments to the cap and tax bill.

    Pretty arrogant group we got there!

    July 31, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    I think it would be great to have a beer with the president . but not over a petty issue such as that of a officer and a teacher . I would be ashamed to have this issue get as far as it did . both of them need counceling .
    and lower their ego to normal

    July 31, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. Ben

    SILLIEST NEWS STORY EVER!!!
    Move on... the American people are so far ahead of the media on this one.

    July 31, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. Flash in the Pan

    Whoever runs against Obama in the next election will have TV commercials featuring pictures of this ridiculous event...

    July 31, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. Lynne

    John King and CNN just gave a report on Michelle Obama's involvement when she was employed by a hospital in Chicago and helped start a Clinic Outreach program.

    The reason for link to the First Lady was unclear but as it presented both positive and negative aspects of the program which CNN does even if there is a wide difference in the number of proponents on each side, I will expect that CNN will reach out to the First Lady to have her explain the program. If not I will expect an explanation of why they chose this hospital and this coverage of the first lady.

    I have NEVER heard CNN use anyone's wife to introduce a story before...I want to know of Cindy McCain's holdings in any topic discussed with McCain, if McConnell's wife or family has any ties to any topic he advocates or votes on as well as anyother politician.

    July 31, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. Steve

    Yeah, I agree with the Whitehouse on this one. The event was overblown by the media and should have been a one day story.

    July 31, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. RR

    The media must be hard pressed for stories! I've seen prositutes with better class than most of the media this week!

    July 31, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Obama created this media event. Of all the news and conflict he picked this one to have a publisized meeting about. He wanted it to be a be deal. If he didn't, he would have blown it off like so many other situations and crimes and disasters across the country.

    So to make it sound like the WH has no idea why there is so much attention to this is an insult to our intelligence and an obvious lie.

    The question is why. Obama got something out of this. I will guess a little break from the lower polls and healthcare trouble. He probably hopes that peole will forget (good bet) his changes in policy and goals and broken promises.

    It will probably work.

    July 31, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Democrati Ignorati

    Figures...more coverage of these guys sitting around drinking beer. Meanwhile, not a peep on CNN about the House passing a bill to limit executive bonuses against banks that didn't receive any government help.

    Banks are succeeding on their own, despite the government's best efforts. But leave it to the government to interfere anyway. If an individual had exemplary performance, they should receive a bonus, so long as that bank did not receive government aid.

    So much for the free market. "Change you can believe in"

    July 31, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. AJ

    This administration is very fond of mocking things, in this case rightly so. However, if it werent for Obama's irresponsible actions the need for a "Beer Summit" would not have existed. As a lifelong democrat I am ashamed and disappointed in this presidency. What a disaster. Once again we Democrats chose to throw away the chance of electing a great leader and instead elected an inexperienced, arrogant windbag who thus far has shown us nothing but incompetence and arrogance.

    July 31, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. Marc from Canada

    This whole thing has been blown out of proportion. If it was an Asian professor this thing would barely have scraped local headlines. It's time the media and civil rights movement stop with this over hyper attitude towards these otherwise minor incidents that happen to other ethnic groups every single day.

    July 31, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. Juan Richardson

    Hmm.. not a summit. Whatever. I think the Prez and the "offended" professor were just trying to soften up the "good ole boy" with a few beers and "make" him apologize. BIG kudos to the man for not apologizing for doing his job the way he has always done his job.

    July 31, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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