A former U.S. correspondent spoke at The University on Friday. Gene Gibbons talked about his experiences covering six presidencies and answered questions about the current administration.
Gene Gibbons was a White House correspondent for Reuters and other news outlets from 1977 to 1998. His coverage ranged from the Nixon administration to the Clinton administration.
Gibbons also covered Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Gibbons is a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania and graduated from The University in 1964. He wrote for The Aquinas while he was a student, something he credits his interest in news for President of The University Father Kevin Quinn, S.J., said.
Gibbons’ first experience asking a President a press question was during the Richard Nixon administration. Although he was nervous, he asked his question anyway, he said.
“All of sudden the waves parted and there I found myself looking across at this big oak desk at the most powerful man in the world,” Gibbons said about his experience.
Gibbons grew very close to the Bush family while reporting on President George H.W. Bush’s administration. His relations with the family continued after Bush’s administration ended.
Gibbons even informed the Bush family about his proposal to his now current wife before he proposed, he said.
“(George H.W.) Bush was and is my favorite president,” Gibbons said. “I’m proud to say President Bush calls me a friend.”
After talking about his experiences, Gibbons talked about the audience of the news. He said people need to be more open to listening to more media outlets.
“Too many of us these days shut out what we don’t want to hear,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons also answered questions about the Trump Administration. He fears the administration will not be fit for the needs of the U.S. He not only fears Trump’s Administration for America’s future, but also for the future of his grandchildren, Gibbons said.
“President Donald Trump is morally and mentally unfit to serve the United States,” Gibbons said.