White House Press Secretary Says Daily Briefings On Hold Because Grandstanding Reporters Trying To ‘Get Famous’
George W. Bush called it “peacocking.”
During W.’s time in office, the White House press secretary held a briefing nearly every day. Reporters crammed into the smaller-than-it-looks Brady Briefing Room and badgered the secretary with questions, usually for about an hour.
Some in the first row, usually employed by a TV network, would drone on and on, holding court, asking questions that sometime ran for two minutes (air time, don’t you know). And some, like NBC’s David Gregory, would ask five, six, seven questions, often as his colleagues behind him moaned.
Barack Obama held fewer daily briefings, and under President Trump, they barely ever happen.
There’s a reason for that, says new Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.
“Ultimately, if the president decided it’s something we should do, we can do that, but right now he’s doing just fine and to be honest the briefings had become a lot of just theater,” she said Monday on Fox News.
“And to be honest, the briefings have become a lot of theater. And I think that a lot of reporters were doing it to get famous. I mean, yeah, they’re writing books now. I mean, they’re all getting famous off of this presidency. And so, I think it’s great what we’re doing now,” she said.
Grisham says Trump has been more accessible than his predecessors, adding, “He’s his own best spokesperson.”
“They’re writing books now, they’re all getting famous off of this presidency, so I think it’s great what we’re doing now,” Grisham added.
Grisham didn’t name names, but she may have been referring to CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta, who has repeatedly clashed with Trump and has put out a book. CNN contibutor April Ryan, another White House reporter, also battled with both Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders, both former press secretaries, and written a book.
Grisham also suggested that the rudeness and belligerence of reporters toward previous press secretaries has prompted the White House to curtail them.
“I think that it’s so important that, you know, the spokesperson for the president can adequately speak to his policies and get his message out there, and I think the president saw that that’s not what was happening,” she said. “It had become, again, theater, and they weren’t being good to his people. And he doesn’t like that. He’s very loyal to his people, and he put a stop to it.”