By Guy Benson
January 17, 2011
The answer, in short, is no.
Some conservative blogs are pillorying the White House for the egregious (if true) act of flashing "applause" indicators on the jumbotron during President Obama's memorial service remarks in Tucson last week. I argued at the time that the speech was moving, uplifting, and presidential -- but that the audience's behavior was unruly and appallingly inappropriate, considering the venue. While guest hosting Hugh Hewitt's show last week, I offered the mild criticism that perhaps the White House could have been more assertive in tamping down the rally-like atmosphere the event adopted, but that the president himself was not to blame.
This report -- again, if accurate -- would spectacularly invalidate my position:
On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that they were surprised by the applause at the memorial pep rally on Wednesday for the victims of the Tucson shootings.
Oh really? Then why was [APPLAUSE] printed on the Jumbotron?