The White House has decided to reverse course and now refuse to release photographs of abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan — even though the Pentagon had previously announced that it would release them (in response to a court order in a FOIA case brought by the ACLU).
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is on TV now defending the move with what I have to say is an extremely lame rationale. He doesn’t look like he’s convinced even himself.
Late Update: White House press corps like crows to shiny objects: Gibbs breaks the awkwardness of the moment by confiscating ringing cell phone of Human Events reporter. Hearty laughter all around. Grilling on photos non-release quickly comes to end.
Later Update: CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller tries valiantly to get presser back on track with tough question on the non-release, but Gibbs volleys with ribbing of CBS TV’s Bill Plante, whom Gibbs had booted from room for his ringing cell phone. Good times.
Low Moments in Journalism Update: As we anticipated, the highlight of the White House briefing for CNN was the cell phone confiscation. Hardy har-har.