“White Coats in the Rose Garden, as Obama Rallies Doctors on Health Overhaul,” read a New York Times blog post headline. “The roughly 150 doctors assembled wore white lab coats under the brilliant fall sun,” the Washington Post recalled. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “Obama faced rows of smiling doctors, all wearing white lab coats.” NBC News also noted the white coats donned by the doctors in attendance.
But none of these media outlets mentioned that the White House had to hand out lab coats to a number of the doctors in attendance who showed up in business attire. Apparently trying to drive home the image of medical professionals applauding the President, the White House would
not start the press conference until all of the doctors were dressed in the “spiffy” outfits, in the President’s words.
Many major media outlets declined to note the botched attempt to enhance the ‘doctors-support-the-plan’ image of the event, playing right into the White House’s objectives.
Below is a photo of a White House aide passing out white coats to those who hadn't worn one to the photo op. (Photo credit: New York Post)
Remember how the media howled over the "fake turkey" that Bush supposedly carried on his surprise Thanksgiving Day trip to Baghdad a few years back? The press had a different posture toward that president than this one. (BTW, turns out the supposedly fake turkey was real, as the NYT eventually admitted.)