Former Bush, Clinton WH Press Secretaries: ‘We Support No Live TV Coverage’ of Briefings


Former White House press secretaries in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations have publicly come out to say they support not having the White House briefings aired live.

Ari Fleischer, one of Bush’s press secretaries, and Mike McCurry, one of Clinton’s press secretaries, tweeted out the same statement this morning:

They actually made this proposal back in January, before Donald Trump was sworn into office:

If the briefing is “embargoed” until its conclusion, it will become just one of several raw ingredients that journalists can use to prepare their reports on the work of the president and the White House. It would instantly become a toned-down briefing, and reporters would use the information from the briefing and test it against other sources as they prepare coverage. It would not be a “news event” in and of itself. An exception could be made by the White House if there is a major compelling event that demands live coverage, but the emphasis of the briefing should be on gathering and delivering real content. Too much of the briefing today is a game of “gotcha” and “what did the president do wrong?” A better model would focus on facts and substance.

But the question of whether the briefings should be live and on-camera has been a big discussion lately, given the decisions made by the Trump White House and the complaints of some in the press.

Sean Spicer and others have argued that not having the briefings live and on-camera leads to them becoming more substantive.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac