Gibbs lays down law to ensure press access

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

The president’s press secretary may not always like the White House press corps but when they are being cut out of a meeting they were promised access to, he becomes a serious force to reckon with.

Gibbs threatens to pull Obama from India talks after press dispute

Indian officials would let only five reporters into Hyderabad House in New Delhi instead of the agreed-upon eight.

The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson—who was on White House pool duty Monday and filed the report for the White House press corps—wrote that “Gibbs announced loudly and persistently on steps of Hyderabad House that he would pull” President Obama out of the meeting “unless ‘the White House 8,’ as we’ve come to be known, were all allowed in.”

As the discussion continued, Gibbs grew more animated.

“At one point, Gibbs literally had his foot lodged in the closing front door, asking if the Indian security officials pushing hard to shut it were going to break his foot,” Wilson continued. “More angry words ensued, and after Gibbs convinced them, through high volume and repetition, that he was serious” about pulling Obama, the press secretary had the security retinue’s full attention.

Story includes video from AP showing Gibbs making sure the pool of eight reporters get into the meeting.

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