July 31st, 2009
05:59 PM ET
12 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. Beer

    OH NO! The President had a beer! Hurry, impeach him before the country falls apart!

    July 31, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. Gene

    Yeah.. I think tonight would be a good night to go out and have a few beer summits 🙂

    July 31, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. Post always rejected by CNN

    The media...what media.....they are all a bunch of news readers. They sit on their butts and read copy their bosses stick in front of them.

    July 31, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  4. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    As Craig Ferguson asks at the close of his show, "what did we learn tonight", Mr. President? Don't mouth off to The Man? Don't criticize police without having knowledge of the facts? Don't bother reporting apparent incidents of criminal behavior because all you get is scorn and abuse? If this case has raised doubts about the bias of Harvard Law eggheads, maybe we have learned something.

    July 31, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  5. AntiRush

    I think that the media spends more time naming events than they do in actually covering them properly. Maybe if they spent a little more time getting the facts on the stories that they cover, they would be viewed more favorably.

    July 31, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  6. BILL

    Small wonder the media is over-hyping this situation and the senator from Wyomong is hoping to gain some political traction from this meeting. Same ol' same ol' from both groups

    July 31, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. not blinded

    Spent a lot more time talking about what beer would be served (and probably researching it) then you did on Obama's eligibility, didn't you media!

    July 31, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. ted

    He can mock it, but it looks no more than a PR event by the White House itself to smooth over Obama's overstep.

    July 31, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. sean

    and well you should be mocked. its truly embarrasing what passes for news these days. you had a countdown the the "kegger" on TV.
    with the congress looking to slap BILLIONS of dollars of taxes on working americans to pay for a healthcare bill that NOBODY likes, i'm surprised you devote TV, internet coverage to "what kind of beer will be served?", "will there be pretzels?" GET A REAL STORY.

    July 31, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  10. Jeff

    It was clearly an attempt to put a period on the incident. The Obama Administration wanted this to be the "summit" of media attention in hopes that they can get back on the message of Health Care reform. To that end it will be successful, especially with Pelosi and Reid insulting every insurance company in the world. Unfortunately for President Obama, he had a momentary lapse, detoured from the teleprompter and showed the American people how he truly feels.

    July 31, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Lee in TN

    Do the news channels have nothing more important to report? Has every channel sunk to the low level type of reporting found on Fox News? Let's get back in the real world and cover something news worthy.

    July 31, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. Bill in Jax

    Anyone who takes television news seriously, particularly the cable news networks, is greatly limiting their ability to obtain facts and objective analysis. I don't know which is worse....CNN repeating or creating virtually anything that sounds the least bit outrageous, whether it comes from right or left wingers and regardless of credibility, only to fill its 24/7 airtime needs....or Fox News, which will only repeat or create anything that appears negative regarding Obama or Democrats, regardless of credibility. The greatest fear I have is losing today's variety of quality newspapers with varying conservative, moderate or liberal political views, and having to rely on such broadcast news travesties as CNN and Fox News.

    July 31, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. GGG

    Please give this guy a teleprompter!!! he sounds like an idiot eveytime he opens his mouth!

    July 31, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Cynthia

    I thought this was going to be a teachable moment????

    July 31, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. phoenix86

    Obama spoke the truth, had it been a summit the US would have come out the loser. As it was, it was a typical Obama workday: posing for pictures and doing nothing.

    July 31, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. Really!?

    This was great for the WH while the media was worried about the choice of beer there were deals being brokered on capitol hill on the so called health care reform. We have yet to hear ANY media outlet talk about specific provisions in the bill. The costs? Savings (haha)? Restrictions of care? Government involvement in care choices? Etc.
    I heard other day that Ted Kennedy was blasting HMO's. He introduced the legislation that allowed inusrers to create them 20 some years ago...

    July 31, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
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