Like other Presidents haven’t had to put up with this?
A long-running tiff between the White House press corps and the West Wing over presidential access flared anew today when press secretary Jay Carney faced off with reporters over the right to shout questions at the president during debt talks.
Obama chafes at the time-honored practice of answering questions shouted at him during pooled, non-press conference events — and his staff has often opted for “stills sprays,” excluding print reporters or TV cameras who might capture Obama in the less than flattering non-act of snubbing a query.
When asked today why TV crews and print reporters were barred from the pool covering the White House meeting with congressional leaders on the deficit, Carney responded by pointing out that the administration has held two press conferences in the past two weeks and allowed TV cameras into the spray earlier this week.
“People shouted questions at him,” Carney said. He then added, “The purpose of the meeting is not to create a circus, but to negotiate, so today we’re doing stills only.”
Of course, given Obama’s famous habit of blurting out truths that he’d rather have kept hidden when he’s off-teleprompter, this is probably a wise maneuver.
But it certainly makes it look like The One feels that he need not answer queries from The Little People.