The White House briefing room has many functions: a storage space for tripods and camera gear, a backdrop for visitor photos, a temporary workspace for journalists without a desk. What it is not, at least since March 11, is a venue for President Trump’s press secretary to brief reporters on administration policies. Next week will mark six months since the last White House “daily” briefing, another erosion of transparency and democracy under Trump or a sad indictment of the “fake news” media’s incivility, depending on your view. "The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the 'podium' much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press,” is how Trump defended the scarcity of briefings earlier this year. “I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway!" The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the “podium” much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely … [Read more...] about The White House briefing has been dead for six months
White house daily briefing
WASHINGTON — Choosing a single day that epitomizes Donald J. Trump’s presidency — amid the endless tangle of jaw-dropping, reality-bending, norm-shattering days — is a fool’s errand. But for a White House correspondent departing the beat after eight years, Thursday came awfully close. From Mr. Trump’s morning Twitter rant (asking how anyone could vote for a Democrat over “what you have now, so great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius!”) to his social media summit (in which he praised a room of right-wing agitators for “the crap you think of”), to a news conference that ended with his merry band of provocateurs almost coming to blows with reporters, the White House finally surrendered itself to being a stage set for Mr. Trump’s greatest reality show. It is not that real business wasn’t transacted there on Thursday. Mr. Trump went to the Rose Garden to announce his retreat, in the face of a Supreme Court ruling, … [Read more...] about A White House Correspondent Departs the Jaw-Dropping Trump Beat
Every once in a while, you get proven right. But it usually takes more than a week or so. In case you missed it, The New Republic is essentially arguing that it’s a waste of time for reporters to attend faux “news” events such as the daily White House press briefings. Why, they might as well go ahead and endorse outsourcing this perfunctory activity to an intern. Shot: TNR urges: ‘End the White House Press Briefing! It’s an unholy charade‘ “The daily briefing has become a worthless chore for reporters, an embarrassing nuisance to administration staff, and a source of added friction between the two camps. It’s time to do the humane, obvious thing and get rid of it altogether.” “… We are now pawns in a reality show. I’d rather spend that hour and a half taking someone to coffee or calling or e-mailing someone to get a better sense of something important—you know, doing my job as a … [Read more...] about TNR: You might as well send an intern to cover White House press briefings
The White House beat makes reporters into household names. But too many show off with gotcha questions and preening for the camera. Parts of the press are under fire again for their use of anonymous sourcing, particularly sources who later backtrack on their statements. When the opportunity presented itself to work as a White House correspondent, I was elated. Unfortunately, during my time in the briefing room, I witnessed the withering of a press corps that I once aspired to join. Of course, there are those who I admire greatly, who cover the White House with fairness and without bias, and a handful I call friends. But for a sizable minority, the White House briefing room was about theater and making great television, not about journalism. It was a room to elbow one's peers and show off one's ability to ask “gotcha” questions. Additionally, it was a priority to get oneself in an all-important “cross shot” — meaning the … [Read more...] about Reporters turn White House press briefings into performances. That’s why I quit.
Joe Lockhart served as White House press secretary from 1998-2000. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion at CNN. (CNN)In the month of September, the "daily" White House briefing was held one time. That's not a typo, the press secretary went to the podium in the White House for an on-camera briefing once. Was there only one working day in September, a short month maybe? No, I checked -- 30 days like a normal September. Joe Lockhart I don't really know why this White House has abandoned the daily briefing. There are many theories. Perhaps they perceive the press as part of the Democratic Party and why give the opposition the forum to run down the President? Some in the White House, including the President, I think, argue that Trump is the administration's best spokesperson and only he should speak on camera for them. Others say the press secretary is afraid to be undercut within minutes by the President himself. In the end, only … [Read more...] about Joe Lockhart: Abandoning the White House daily briefing is a big mistake