The openness administration seems to be reluctant to talk this week.
Generally, the press secretary briefs when the president is in town. That’s exactly where he was Monday, but for some reason, no briefing by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Today, he’s around again, at least until tonight, when he heads out to campaign for the Senate candidacy of Vietnam war hero Richard Blumenthal. But today, no briefing again
Now, some of you question the value of the Bob Gibbs Show, noting that, well, he doesn’t seem to say a lot that is substantive and the questions by us in the media are not quite as probing as they might be.
But I submit to you, IT’S BETTER THAN NOTHING.
The first move toward shutting down briefings was made by Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino who – though she otherwise handled her job quite well and with great consideration toward the press – should never have abolished the morning “gaggle.”
The gaggle was an informal, off-camera but on-the-record chat that added to our knowledge of what was going on. Formerly held in the press secretary’s office, it had been since the crush of coverage after 9/11 been staged in the briefing room, but with the camera lights off.
But with coverage of Bush waning toward the end, Perino decided she’s had enough of it.
Are we moving from two briefings a day to zero? Will the briefing somehow be truncated? The press must go into full whining and screaming mode if something like this happens.
We didn’t when Perino nixed the gaggle, and we should have.