Former WH press secretaries: End live daily press briefings

Former WH press secretaries: End live daily press briefings
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Two former press secretaries to Presidents George W. Bush and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMontana governor raises profile ahead of potential 2020 bid Dem senator ties Kavanaugh confirmation vote to Trump-Putin controversy Don't place all your hopes — or fears — on a new Supreme Court justice MORE said on Wednesday that the White House should embargo all video from press briefings for later use, preventing the video from being broadcast live.

Ari Fleischer and Mike McCurry issued identical statements on Twitter Wednesday morning that they support "no live TV coverage of WH briefing. Embargo it & let it be used, but not as live TV."

The statements continued, saying the proposal would be "better for the public, the WH & the press."

The two echoed these comments a joint op-ed published in January in the Columbia Journalism Review. In the column, the two argue that White House press briefings have become combative news events between press secretary and reporters, rather than informative news conferences.

"Too much of the briefing today is a game of “gotcha” and “what did the president do wrong?" the op-ed reads. "A better model would focus on facts and substance."

"We recommend that President-elect Trump keep the press briefing, but no longer make it a live televised event."

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Fleischer made similar comments during an April interview with The Hill, arguing it would "calm things down a bit."

"The briefing would be cameras in the back of the room, film it all, but there would be no live coverage," Fleischer said in April. "So if CNN wants to replay the entire briefing at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, they could. I doubt they ever would but they could."

"It gives the TV cameras everything the print guys have but it’s not a live TV show," Fleischer continued. "I think that would cool things down and calm things down a little bit, and be more old-fashioned in the conveyance of information, as opposed to two sides posturing and fighting on air."

Fleischer has also suggested rotating out the organizations and reporters who attend the daily White House press briefings, noting there are only seats for 49 reporters in the room.

"There are 750 reporters credentialed to cover the White House, and there's only 49 seats in that room," he explained.

"Forty-nine seats really go to the mainstream media largely. I would update that and give those seats on a rotating basis to an entirely new group of reporters in addition to the press corps — business press, foreign journalists, social media day with the left dot-coms and the right dot-coms."