The White House Department of White Coats; Update: DFA supplied the coats?

Why was the New York Post the only major media organization to report this?

President Obama yesterday rolled out the red carpet — and handed out doctors’ white coats as well, just so nobody missed his hard-sell health-care message.

In a heavy-handed attempt at reviving support for health-care reform, the White House orchestrated a massive photo op to buttress its claim that front-line physicians support Obama. …

The physicians, all invited guests, were told to bring their white lab coats to make sure that TV cameras captured the image.

But some docs apparently forgot, failing to meet the White House dress code by showing up in business suits or dresses.

So the White House rustled up white coats for them and handed them to the suited physicians who had taken seats in the sun-splashed lawn area.

When did the White House add a Wardrobe Czar to the administration?  Does this position have Congressional oversight, or did the Obama administration outsource that to Cintas?

Patterico notes that wardrobe malfunctions weren’t the only problem with that staged photo op:

“Dr. Eric Novack was one of the 50 doctors invited to the White House photo op today. But he turned down the invitation, because he has lead the fight to pass state legislation and constitutional amendments to prohibit individual insurance mandates.

“They had 16 hours to Google me, but I guess no one bothered,” Dr. Novack told Kathryn Serkes, Director of Policy and Public Affairs for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in a video interview available at

Dr. Novack says that it was very tempting to accept the “once-in-a-lifetime” invitation, but in the end, he had to say no. But it also makes him question whether the doctors who will be there today actually support the President, or even understand all of the details of the bills.

“Are these doctors just star-struck, or do they have real knowledge about what they are supporting?” asked Serkes. “It’s looking like another dog-and-pony-show, and doctors should not be used in this shameful manner. First the President vilifies them, now he wants their help.”

“And at the very least, it makes the White House look like it does some very sloppy work,” added Serkes.”

Well, they didn’t exactly worry about that sloppy work when they started passing out uniforms to physicians in the Rose Garden. They probably figured that the mainstream media would turn a blind eye to the clumsy staging, and for the most part, they were right.

Update: If you’re interested in putting a stop to these masquerade parties, go to Patients First and their National Call Congress Day website.

Update II: My friend Tommy Christopher reports that the White House says that Doctors for America, the pro-reform group that arranged for the doctors, handed out the white lab coats and not the White House.  That makes a little more sense — after all, I doubt that the White House had a stash of lab coats hanging in the Lincoln Bedroom closet — but who told DFA to outfit the doctors with lab coats?  I sincerely doubt that the White House left that detail to DFA’s judgment.

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