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Bryan Preston

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March 20, 2014 - 6:44 am

An Arizona-based reporter let a cat out of the bag. According to the Weekly Standard, the reporter visited the White House and got to go on a sort of tag-along with WH spokesman Jay Carney. Carney admitted during the off-the-record session that the questions that he gets in the White House press briefings are usually sent to him in advance. He also usually provides the answers to those questions in advance.

“And then he also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it’s something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask — the correspondents — they are provided to him in advance. So then he knows what he’s going to be answering and sometimes those correspondents and reporters also have those answers printed in front of them, because of course it helps when they’re producing their reports for later on. So that was very interesting.”

Interesting indeed. If true, then the briefings we see everyday are just stage-managed set pieces coordinated between the media and the Obama White House that the media is allegedly covering. It’s all an illusion.

Our second piece in this post comes from Politico. First Lady Michelle Obama has decided that she doesn’t need the state-run media to accompany her on her taxpayer-funded vacation to China. Politico isn’t exactly the most adversarial outlet that the Obama White House deals with. But when Dylan Byers wanted answers to some apparently innocuous questions regarding the First Lady’s taxpayer-funded vacation to China, he was shown the back of the White House’s hand. Across several hours of inquiry, Byers never got a satisfactory answer, and his contact would not even allow him to use their name.

Now, I’ll leave frustration over Michelle Obama’s trip to The New York Times, Nick Krisfof, The Weekly Standard and Drudge Report (a motley crew right there). What I want to know – and what I’ve wanted to know since last October – is why the spokesperson in the First Lady’s office didn’t want to give me a name I could put on a harmless, formulaic quote?

This sounds to me like Byers’ contact fears retribution if they grant any media attribution.

Update: WH spokesman Jay Carney denies that he gets press questions in advance of his briefings. But it’s fair to say that Carney has an arms-length relationship with the truth, so his word is not all that reliable.

Update: Ed Henry of Fox and Jon Karl of ABC have both taken to Twitter to state that the story of Carney receiving questions beforehand is false. It has never seemed like Carney knew exactly what either of them, or several other reporters including Jake Tapper, were going to ask beforehand. His exchanges with them have gotten testy at times. On the other hand, Obama’s behavior during his infrequent press conferences does suggest that he has pre-planned which reporters he will call on, because he knows what they will ask. Perhaps the Arizona reporter is just confused?

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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I don't see a contradiction.

The majority of the leftist cabal provide their questions in advance.

The few remaining journalists, the ones who get singled out for direct criticism by the WH, do not submit their questions in advance.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Golly, they're not cooperating with us reporters - what an inconvenience...I just don't understand it." What a bunch of lukewarm pablum of complaints!

Where the righteous indignation? Where are the howls for the sanctity of press access and honest responses from the administration? Where are the unrelenting articles trashing this White House for manipulating the press that is trying to simply do its job of being skeptics on behalf of the citizenry?

Listening to these simpers and half-hearted whining is sickening - especially knowing that they'll all turn into tigers when a Republican gets elected.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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