Media barred from Obama beer summit - reporters sad

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    Despite President Obama's beer summit with Harvard professor Henry Gates and Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley being off-limits to the press, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the meeting is still a "teachable moment."
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The upcoming "beer summit" between President Obama, professor Henry Louis Gates, and Sgt. James Crowley is only a few hours away and is getting huge media attention.

And it's being met with some media disappointment as well. That's because the press isn't invited to the conversation and the president doesn't have plans to talk to the press after the event. This despite the fact that Obama has called the incident and the upcoming conversation as a "teachable moment."

ABC's Jake Tapper brought this up today at the White House press briefing. How can it be a teachable moment if the public can't sit in on it?

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"Well, I think that many people would have hardly imagined something like this happening this time last week," Gibbs explained. "Having them get together to 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."

"I think that that kind of dialogue has to happen in every level of society ... if we're going to make progress on issues that we've been dealing with for quite some time."

Gibbs did say that Crowley and Gates could meet with the press following the meeting if they choose.

Protest

Some organizations are against the summit altogether because beer will be served. A group called "Pray at the pump" is staging a protest outside the White House because beer sends the "wrong message to our nation's youth who are becoming alcoholics at young ages," said the founder of the group.

Twitter

While we all await the much-discussed summit, it's fun to look at the Twitter traffic out there and see what people are saying about it.

The conspiracy-theorists want a part of the action too:

billhobbs: Birthers should invite Obama over for a beer - then ask to see his birth certificate to prove he's old enough to drink!

The up and coming comedians (or criminals) are taking advantage of the situation:

badbanana With professor Gates off to have a beer with Obama, now would be the perfect time to break into his house. (hahahahah)

What's the veep's involvement going to be?

cooleddie74: Joe Biden making beer runs? Obama REALLY needs to find something this guy can do before he steps in a bear trap or something

Some Tweeters don't like the president's choice of beverage (which Gibbs said would be "Bud Light"). Another doesn't approve of the media's interest in the whole thing:

hc_horserace: Forget healthcare! CNN reports THE dilemma facing U.S.: which beer will Obama, Gates & Crowley drink?

Speaking of the wacky press, what "meaningless" issue will they cover next?

whitehousestaff: press making deal out of beer brands for tonight's make nice meet. next up: does Obama use american soap? trust me, fnc (Fox News Channel) is not above that.

Another Tweeter thinks that the summit will turn the White House into the Animal House:

chaboard: Word on the street, Obie's breakin' out the purple toga again!!! @jelenawoehr Obama hosting "Great Beer Summit. http://www.animalhouse.com/

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If Obama's summit does turn into a toga party, we'll let you know about it on Twitter! So follow us.

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