June 18th, 2009
03:23 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama press secretary chronically tardy

Robert Gibbs was a total of 13 hours and 46 minutes late to his own press briefings in the month of May alone.

Robert Gibbs was a total of 13 hours and 46 minutes late to his own press briefings in the month of May alone.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs delayed the start of his daily briefing Thursday - which is only remarkable for the fact it's so unremarkable.

The Bush White House briefings were only rarely delayed. Journalists covering the White House have now grown accustomed to waiting in the briefing room…at least so far.

Consider the numbers: Gibbs was a total of 13 hours and 46 minutes late to his own press briefings in the month of May alone.

Of the 19 briefings held by Gibbs in May, the White House officially pushed the scheduled start time back 14 times (although: one time they actually made it earlier.) That averages out to a delay of roughly 28 minutes a day - a total of 8 hours and 50 minutes for the month.

He was tardy for every one of the scheduled briefings he held that month: The shortest delay was just eight minutes, the longest was one hour and 41 minutes. The actual time Gibbs arrived at the podium to start the briefing took even longer - the time from when the briefing was originally scheduled to when it actually started accounted for a 13 hour and 46 minute total delay, or 43 minutes a day.

Filed under: Robert Gibbs
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. dg houston

    and another thing puppet gibbs, can you roll over and play dead

    June 18, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Shucks

    And we really care if the press has to wait awhile. This is a non-story except for reporters. Buy them doughnuts and tell them to get over it.

    June 18, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Hannah Stevens

    Remember the first 9 months of the bush-cheney "presidency". I think bush sat on his hands those first months, I don't recall that he did anything of note, other than re-classify some Reagan documents that were due to be released under the freedom of information act, and allowed more mercury in the environment, cut funds for Head Start... While someone, was it cheney, was planning 9-11, bush and rice did nothing. He could not even give a press conference; he didn't know how.

    June 18, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Dan, NY

    Yes. Barack Obama has to cook up his answers to cheat the media and the reporters. It takes time. If you are straight talker, you will always be punctual and ready to answer any questions at any time. This administration is full of cheats and un-professional. It looks like presidential campaign is still going on. That is why you can see campaign advisers all over the place including ambassadors to UK, France, Japan, everywhere. What a drama we have to watch.. More to come after the break....

    June 18, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. TCM

    @ Too True For You –

    Dude, you aren't drinking the koo-aid, you're chugging the frickin' pitcher!

    Obama's done more in 5 mo than repubs in 28 yrs? HAHAHAHHA....just what website did Obama send you to for that tidbit? Liberals are a riot when they cannot defend demoliberal incompetency!

    June 18, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. jt

    Get over it, CNN. Time wasn't made to revolve around White House correspondents. Must be really, really slow news day to be posting a ticker item complaining about job conditions.

    June 18, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Seriously . . .

    Who cares if he's late . . . at least he's not spewing lies and war mongering. Will the Baby Boomers please DIE so we can fix the divisive mess you've made? Thanx.

    June 18, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. haha

    Lets see he is probaly late because he was busy bowing down to allah obamas feet

    June 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. EDR

    Where is the story about Obama breaking his own law by the way he fired Inspector General Walpin, who investigated an Obama croney and discovered he had spent $800,000 of taxpayer money for personal use. Obama gave Inspector General Walpin 1 hour to resign or be fired, when the law requires him to give 30 days notice to Congress along with a full explanation. Obama can't get out of his own way!

    June 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Finnicky

    The press would prefer the Bush years where the press briefings were started on time but they were told lies. So the press could just repeat those lies to the public without any investigation. "We're not torturing", WMD, etc. The press prefers Rove's talking points instead of real information.

    June 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Pat, CA

    Becky June 18th, 2009 4:19 pm ET
    @ Pat
    "Hey, don't pick on him — he "won," remember? When you "win" you can do whatever you want."
    You're talking about Bush, right?
    No, Becky - I was talking about Gibbs. Sorry if I didn't make myself clear.

    June 18, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Carl Justus

    If I was Obama, I would tell him to be on time once and the second time I would be looking for new press secretary.

    I was a construction representative and I had an architect that was chronically late and I finally got tired of having to wait on him for that job and I told him our meeting started at 10 o'clock and that is when I expected him to be there for the rest of us were busy too. He got the message and so would Gibbs if I was in charge.

    June 18, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Susan Nieuwenhuis

    The Press Secretary's tardiness is simply uncalled for! How discourteous to members of the Press, who are human beings and deserve better treatment. After all, they have schedules to adhere to and the PS's inconsideration adds angst and frustration. Someone, perhaps the President himself, should reprimand his Press Secretary, and promise dire rebuttals if the behavior doesn't cease! After all, he can be replaced.

    June 18, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Ted Tartaglia

    There is no excuse for Gibbs' tardiness. It shows unprofessionalism and rudeness and he should turn over a new leaf and begin to hold briefings on time. That being said, the press needs to start acting like adults. I have seen many times when the press just keeps beating a dead horse and other times follow up questions are not pursued when the answer begs a follow up.

    The press seems more interested in sensationalism than in serious reporting. The supposed leaders of the Washington press corps have been lobbing softball questions for the last few years. Where has investigative reporting gone?

    June 18, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. Lynn

    Blogs on Palin, McCain, and Bush but nothing on the unanimaus support for the President's stand of not getting involved in the internal politics/strife in Iran. This morning a disappointed John Roberts spoke to a former Iranian hostage who unequivically supported the president full of specific actions America has taken against the Iranian people.

    Just now Wolf Blitzer, who seem oblivious to the answers the person he is interviewing give, spoke to an expert from Iran who again stated that America needs to keep out of Iranian politics. John Kerry, as the CNN headline writers would say, ' SLAMMED' John McCain for comments CNN has reported and aired several times.

    Where is fair and balanced. The only people I have heard supporting the big mouthed, out of power Republicans are Republicans...and of course lou Dobbs.

    So much for fair and balanced!!

    June 18, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. TCM

    @ EDR –


    Where's the Walin story? CNN – you know the one about Obama breaking the law, the very law he proposed as a senator, to fire an IG for doing his job and ratting out embezzlers of taxpayer money?

    what's that? It was one of Obama's buddies? And it was for AmeriCorp ? Oops...my bad...won't mention it again....

    June 18, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. Donna

    unfortunately when you are working hard- you do not have the time to have these dumb press meetings. Bushes people were never late because they were never doing anything- started a war and sent our troops to fight it while they sat here and got rich.

    June 18, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. GuyInVA

    Chronically tardy. Not to mention chronically tongue-tied and chronically disingenuous.

    June 18, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. G

    Waterboard him! lol just kidding. his lateness isn't the worst thing in the world.....borrowing an additional $5 Trillion over the next 4 years, socializing banks, car companies and healthcare now that is the real problem.

    June 18, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Tim

    Change you can wait for.

    June 18, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. GOPer

    Is this news? Sorry CNN but we have to run a country. If it will help, go buy a crying towel at walmart.

    June 18, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. TCM

    @ DONNA –

    You're kidding right...? You honestly believe that Gibbs is working feverishly....? At what? And then stammering through his explanation....? Come on...it's the pinnacle of incompetence!

    June 18, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. Seriously . . .

    I waited for 8 years . . .

    June 18, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. daniel

    let them eat cake

    June 18, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Bev - NYC

    Anyone want to take bets on who the next James von Brunn will be, TCM or phoenix86?

    Boo Hoo the press has to wait, when you have a presidency about nothing except two foreign wars and squadering a surplus it's easy to be on time.

    June 18, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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