White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered a noticeably snide dig on Wednesday to cable news critics who claim that the president is being too hands-off with the oil crisis -- specifically MSNBC's Keith Olberman, who harshly criticized Obama's Oval Office address the night before.
"I appreciate the hand on the pulse of America by those who live on cable TV," the press secretary said. "I don't actually think that is where all of real America lives."
The comments were made in response to a question about whether Gibbs had seen some of the tougher takes on the president from the "Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart and Olberman -- the latter of whom critiqued Obama for offering mostly platitudes during his Gulf speech. Gibbs, at first, appeared willing to dispense of the issue with a simple 'no comment.' But after giving it a second thought, he weighed in.
"I said this before, I will reiterate it. If the president had decided to run for president based off what the pundits were saying in the December of 2006 and January of 2007, he would be in the Senate," he said, before offering his blunter pushback.
The White House routinely stresses that it simply doesn't care what the pundits have to say about the president's performance. But the somewhat gratuitous shot about living in the real world certainly gets at the larger truth: administration officials are acutely aware of, and affected by, the coverage they receive.