As The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler put it in the middle of an exchange with Gibbs at yesterday’s briefing: “It’s our job to help people— to explain to people what it is that you’re saying, and so I’m trying to make sure I understand it.” That’s a great description of what a White House reporter is supposed to do; it’s also what Stein, preoccupied with noting reporters’ snickering at Gibbs’s answers, chose not to do. There can be a lot of information hiding between the lines of a press briefing; journalists should ferret it out.

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Jane Kim is a writer in New York.