Due to the current reluctance of President Donald Trump’s administration to hold on-camera press briefings, and the subsequent criticism White House press secretary Sean Spicer has received as a result, I believe it’s time we take a quick walk down memory lane, all the way back to 1993, shall we?
Yes, for those who may not recall, way back in 1993, former President Bill Clinton’s administration also stopped having on-camera press briefings early in its first year, with Clinton’s press secretary telling C-SPAN that they did not believe the briefings were “really necessary.”
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) June 27, 2017
“I think that that was something that we did in the first week or two. I can’t remember exactly when we stopped it,” Dee Dee Myers said in the C-SPAN footage from March 1993.
“It was a new administration. I think we wanted to talk about what was going on here,” she said. “I think we found that it wasn’t really necessary.”
“The briefing is more an opportunity to exchange ideas and to have a conversation about what’s happening,” she continued. “That wasn’t really happening as productively as we had hoped.”
Myers also added in the footage that, going forward, the White House would only broadcast the first five minutes of the daily briefings from fellow Clinton press aide George Stephanopoulos. The remaining Q&A with reporters was “just not for cameras,” she said.
Hmmm. Funny how easily the memory can fade and the tables can turn, huh?