Bush’s first spokesman describes

how the televised briefings we see on TV have much more to do with preening and posturing than serious Q & A. We think the administration needs more public grilling, not less–but it’s worth hearing his argument.

Washington Post Op-Ed by Ari Fleischer:

The Washington press corps — working in an industry that’s been transformed by talk radio, 24-hour cable news and the Internet — still views the White House briefing room as it was back in the 1950s — or the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s or even early ’90s. Despite dramatic changes forged by live coverage and instant analysis, the press fondly adheres to the notion that the briefing can be conducted the way it used to be.

But as Tony Snow, the new White House press secretary, will soon discover, the briefing is no longer a briefing, it’s a TV show.

Gone are the days when this daily session was a serious affair, with mostly serious questions asked and mostly serious answers given. Instead, the public is now treated to a spectacle in which the media do their best to pressure the White House, regardless of which party is in power, into admitting that much of what the president is doing is wrong, and the White House pushes back. The two sides talk past each other, and the viewing public gets to watch a good fight.


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