In yet another moment of comedy gold, Jake Tapper fenced with Robert Gibbs when he was informed we wouldn’t get a blow-by-blow on the beer summit:
TAPPER: — the president said he wants this to be a teachable moment. How do you envision this being a teachable moment?
GIBBS: Well, I think the — I think many people would have hardly imagined something like this happening this time last week. I think having them get together to talk — the president talked to both of these men last week. They’re decent, honorable, good men. To get together and talk about what’s going on in this country is a positive thing, even if you’re not able to hear each and every word of it. I think — I think that kind of dialogue is what has to happen at every level of — every level of our society if we’re going to make progress on issues that have — we’ve been dealing with for quite some time.
TAPPER: I guess I could just request, I’m sure on everybody’s behalf, that we find out and have as thorough a debrief from you as possible, so that we can make it as much of a teachable moment as possible.
GIBBS: I will try to — I’m not — I won’t be there, but I will endeavor to see what I can get.
TAPPER: You’re close with one of the guys who will.
Later the president professed amazement that everyone could be so interested in a meeting about what he had previously described as an incident brought on by a “stupidly” behaving cop, which he then converted into a “teachable moment.” He lectured the media and public:
“It’s an attempt to have some personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped and so symbolic that you lose sight of just the fact that these are people involved, including myself, all of whom are imperfect.”
Said the president, “hopefully instead of ginning up anger and hyperbole, you know, everybody can just spend a little bit of time with some self-reflection and recognizing that everybody has different points of view.”
I think it was he who suggested it was symbolic. But once again — like American Jewish leaders — we’re told to go self-reflect.
What a perfectly disingenuous and arrogant performance. Far from healing racial tensions, Obama inflamed them and then fled the scene of his own making. The weekend comes just in a nick of time — the president certainly needs to get out of the spotlight and regroup.