INDIA-USA/White House spokesman Robert Gibbs today defended the White House social secretary, Desiree Rogers, in the controversy surrounding how a Virginia couple managed to wangle their way into President Barack Obama’s state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week.

It has been noted in news accounts that no one from the social secretary’s office was at the gate helping the Secret Service identify guests and making sure people not on the list did not get inside.

Gibbs noted that for the crush of holiday parties that have just begun at the White House, procedures have been changed to ensure someone from the social office is at the gate.

The White House sent over a memo outlining the new procedures.

But Gibbs rallied around Rogers, who is the subject today of a one-two punch of fairly critical stories — a column by the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd and a Style section piece by Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan.

Both of them note that Rogers was a guest at the event instead of paying all her attention to making sure things ran smoothly at the Obamas’ first state dinner.