White House Press Secretary: Sorry, Briefings Aren’t Staged
The White House and reporters who cover press conferences saw quite the scandal Thursday after a local Washington reporter stated that journalists would submit questions to the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney prior to the daily press briefings, and that one could give questions ahead of time and receive a written response. The reporter in question was one of a team that interviewed President Obama and others, and noted that this was done in preparation for Obama’s interaction with the press.
Critics of the media quickly pointed out the major issue this would bring up, if it proved to be true. Pre-planned and agreed upon questions are tantamount to cooperation between the government and the free press, making responses considerably more canned and thought out, preventing an element of surprise in news relations.