If you watch the White House press briefings with any regularity, chances are you’ve noticed (and, in my case, been bugged) by all the (often unwarranted) giggling and guffawing done by reporters (this is such a Politico story):

Whenever there’s laughter in the James S. Brady Briefing Room — by either the briefer or the briefed — the official White House stenographer indicates as much by inserting “(Laughter.)” into the transcript.


And in Robert Gibbs’ first four months as President Barack Obama’s press secretary, there have been more than 600 instances of “(Laughter.)” during his regular press briefings — an average of more than 10 laughs per day.

UPDATE: This is also, apparently, such a CNN story. (Don’t everyone become self-aware at once, now!)

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.