FLASHBACK: That Time the Clinton Administration Said On-Camera Press Briefings Weren’t ‘Necessary’ (VIDEO)
It was just weeks into President Bill Clinton’s administration when his staff decided the cameras would be off for most of George Stephanopolous’ briefings.
People seemed okay with Clinton’s ‘no camera’ rules, but when the Trump administration does it, it’s the end of democracy and freedom of the press.
In a March 1993 C-SPAN interview with White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers, she explained that the White House stopped the live press briefings because they weren’t “really necessary”.
Myers went on to say:
“I think that that was something that we did in the first week or two, I can’t remember exactly when we stopped it . . . It was a new administration, I think we wanted to talk about what was going on here . . . I think we found that it wasn’t really necessary.”
Watch the full video below provided by the Washington Examiner:
“The briefing is more an opportunity to exchange ideas and to have a conversation about what’s happening,” Myers added. “That wasn’t really happening in a way that … as productively as we had hoped.”
Myers said the White House then switched formats so that only the top of the noon-hour briefing was televised live.
“What we do now is televise the first five minutes of George Stephanopolous’s briefings at 12:30 everyday,” she said. “And the rest of it’s on the record but just not for cameras.”
The Trump White House has been sharply criticized for holding a series of off-camera “gaggles” that can be used on the record, but aren’t televised.
Reporters have argued that this isn’t enough access, but White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the live briefings are not productive in part because they are giving reporters a chance to become “YouTube stars.”
Myers also added that the Clinton administration closed down press access to Stephanopolous’s office, and said they tried to make up for that move by making officials more available to reporters.
Years after she retired, Myers said Hillary Clinton supported that idea. But Myers disapproved of it, and called it a “rookie mistake.”
“Well, obviously, in hindsight it was a hideous mistake,” she said in a PBS interview. “It just alienated people who had been working in the building for years.”
As TGP previously reported, Very Fake News CNN’s Jim Acosta threw another tantrum after being told that no cameras were allowed in Monday’s White House press briefing. Acosta even broke the rules and took a picture of Sean Spicer anyway.
Jim Acosta badgered White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and interrupted other reporters on Monday after he was told no cameras were allowed for the daily briefing.
After the press briefing, Jim Acosta called for ‘collective action’ against the press office.
Acosta: “I do think at some point some collective action will need to be taken and I do think we are going to have to ask this hard question inside the White House Correspondent’s association whether we are going to allow this to become the new normal?…”