Following the signing of former Obama White House aides Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod as hired guns for MSNBC, the critics descended. Obama TV, they said. One railed against the implications for public trust.
That critique may be spot on.
Yet Gibbs yesterday displayed the logic for hiring folks just like himself and Axelrod: They have institutional memory that, in this day of quick-aggregating bloggers, doubles as news. On “Up With Chris Hayes,” Gibbs said this about the administration’s tight-lippedness on drones:
When I went through the process of becoming press secretary, one of the first things they told me was, you’re not even to acknowledge the drone program. You’re not even to discuss that it exists. And so I would get a question like that, and literally I couldn’t tell you what Major [Garrett] asks, because once I figured out it was about the drone program I realized I’m not supposed to talk about it.
And that’s before the Erik Wemple Blog even clicked on the “all 57 news sources” link in Google News. So think about it: A cable news commentator gets linked all over the Internet, and he didn’t even say anything patently stupid, offensive, sexist, racist or embarrassing.