Posted: March 21, 2014
By: Sandy Fitzgerald
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney receives and reviews questions from the press before his daily briefings, and gives the reporters his answers in advance as well, a Phoenix television reporter says.
Further, said Catherine Anaya, an anchor for CBS affiliate KPHO, she was one of several broadcast journalists from affiliates around the country in Washington Wednesday to interview President Barack Obama — and that the reporters were all timed with a countdown watch and allowed just four minutes each with Obama.
Before meeting with the president, the group met with Carney, who explained the procedure behind his press briefings during an off-the-record meeting.
“It was a very busy day,” Anaya said. “This was the off-the-record so we were able to ask him [Carney] all about some of the preparation that he does on a regular basis for talking to the press in his daily press briefings. He showed us a very long list of items that he has to be well versed on every single day.
“And then he also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it’s something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask – the correspondents – they are provided to him in advance,” Anaya said. “So then he knows what he’s going to be answering and sometimes those correspondents and reporters also have those answers printed in front of them, because of course it helps when they’re producing their reports for later on. So that was very interesting.”
Carney denied Anaya’s claims Thursday in an email to The Daily Mail in London.
“If only this were true,” Carney said.
Anaya went on to interview the president, and said that the procedure for that was “interesting” as well, as there was an aide and a countdown clock — and that the reporters and Obama remained standing for the interview.
“We immediately launched into our interview because there was a person standing behind him actually counting down to the four minutes,” Anaya said on a news broadcast Wednesday. “And by the time he answered my last question, I realized that we had already gone over the four minutes, so that’s why I took an opportunity to sort of ask a lighter question afterward because I figured at that point, you know, why not? I have nothing to lose,” she said.
But what Anaya found interesting was the reason to remain standing.
“I was told by one of his staffers…he likes to get comfortable when he’s sitting and he tends to get very chatty,” she said. “And so this was another way to keep him, and us, at the four minutes that they were suggesting that we not go over.”
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