Why does the White House seem so smug and arrogant? Blame Gibbs

All the contemptuous sneers at the media during the Bush years have now come home to roost in the mouth of the man who represents the very person who ran vowing to overturn the mendacity of the Bush administration—and who was elected, in part, because a shamed media rose to protect him.

It doesn’t matter whether a reporter is from ABC News or Fox News, Gibbs will sink to the occasion—he is as antagonistic to the former’s Jake Tapper as to the latter’s Major Garrett. Indeed, one of the most curious results of Gibbs’ Sarcast-athons is to create in both Tapper and Garrett identical facial expression while jousting with the press secretary: somewhere between stony and clenched, their professional pride ready to burst or pounce…

It may well be that Gibbs—along with Rahm Emanuel—is still running on the adrenalin of the campaign and can’t relinquish the aggressiveness that was so effective in getting Obama to the White House. But even more, he seems to embody all the self-righteousness that the righteous indignation of the Bush years has curdled into. His knowing, cynical attitude toward the press is the mirror image of the entire industry of knowing cynicism that Bush-hatred produced. We knew Bush was lying before he opened his mouth. Gibbs knows the people in the pressroom are posturing before they raise their hands.

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