If White House Was Surprised by Applause at Tucson Pep Rally… Why Did They Ask For It On Jumbotron? (Updated)

On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that they were surprised by the applause at the memorial pep rally on Wednesday for the victims of the Tucson shootings.

I will say that I read the speech several times and thought that there wouldn’t be a lot of applause if any. I think many of us thought that. But I think there was a celebration, again, of the lives of those who had been impacted. Not just at that grocery store but throughout the country. And I think that, if that is part of the healing process, then that’s a good thing.

Oh really?
Then why was it printed on the Jumbotron?

(Flickr)
Hat Tip Chad
The Jumbotron at the arena on Wednesday included applause lines.
(This photo replaces an earlier image after a request by the photographer.)

UPDATE:
More here and here.

UPDATE: Conservative Guy Benson gives the White House some slack and exonerates them from the accusations.

UPDATE: Critics say applause was closed captioning, not a prompt for the audience to react. Though, it is clear the applause picked up after “applause” appeared on the screen.

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