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A Major Addition to the Briefing Room

by Keith Koffler on December 5, 2012, 12:43 pm

The White House briefing room, which has been among the more sleepish and sheepish I’ve seen in covering the place over the last 15 years, is getting a shot of NoDoz with the return of Major Garrett.

Major Garrett

Garrett in the briefing room last week after a Carney session Photo by Keith Koffler

Garrett, who recently moved back into the press room to lead White House coverage for CBS, was an aggressive, tenacious cross-examiner for years during earlier stints with CNN and Fox News. Now, along with Ed Henry of Fox News and Jake Tapper of ABC, the front row of the briefing room will be a far less welcoming place for the press secretary and anyone else who wanders up to the podium.

Along with his TV partner Bill Plante and radio correspondents Mark Knoller and Peter Maer – veterans who have seen it all and not been impressed by much of it – CBS has a team in the West Wing that will provide the White House with some of the skepticism and accountability it so desperately needs.

Here’s a sample of what you can expect, as Major decided to tamper with the faucet as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blandly dripped contempt on Republicans for finding out about UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s investments in the company building the Keystone pipeline.


Anonna December 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Weeeeellll, doggies, as they say — our little Carney-barker has picked up the patronizing, faux-patience-with-the-dolts-who-question-Prez-BO attitude that Geitner displayed recently. The Obotteam is SO over this whole being questioned about Benghazi.

See how clever they were to send innocent little Suzie out to parrot talking points? No one with any responsibility in the situation has any mud clinging to their clothing and Suzie has become an Af-Am Female Martyr.

The Obotteam always knows what they are doing. It never has anything to do with substance and everything to do with creating emotional debates that they can’t lose.

Cooper December 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Could not agree more. What wascally wepublican would dare to criticize this delicate flower of a repressed minority? McCain and Graham dared and were immediately seized upon as rascist women bashers. Instead of the Gestapo hauling you away for your remarks, we have the socialist democrats and the Obama lapdog media shouting down and demeaning any kind of questioning on the true motives of Dear Leader.

Darkangel December 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm

The problem with that line is, some of the criticism is also coming from Senators Ayotte and Collins, women both.

And nobody called the Democrats sexist when they voted down John Bolton because they didn’t think his temperament was suitable for the job.

Susan December 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Watch the other hand with these Republican women. Ayotte and Collins were among 8 Republican senators who voted to sign the UN Treaty for Disabled Rights yesterday. This treaty threatens US sovereignty and parental rights.

Otis Driftwood December 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm

(with help from the movie “Best lil Whorehouse in Texas)

My fellow Americans, I am proudly standing here to humbly see.
I assure you, and I mean it- Now, who says I don’t speak out as plain as day? And, my fellow Americans, I’m for progress and the flag- long may it fly. I’m a poor boy, come to greatness. So, it follows that I cannot tell a lie.

Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don’t-
I’ve come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,
cut a little swathe and lead the people on.

Now my good friends, it behooves me to be solemn and declare,
I’m for goodness and for profit and for living clean and saying daily prayer. And now, my good friends, you can sleep nights, I’ll continue to stand tall. You can trust me, for I promise, I shall keep a watchful eye upon ya’ll…

Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don’t-
I’ve come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,
cut a little swathe and lead the people on.

Now, Miss Rice, I don’t know her, though I’ve heard the name, oh yes.
But, of course I’ve no close contact, so what she is doing I can only guess. And now, Miss Rice, she’s a blemish on the face of that good town. I am taking certain steps here, someone somewhere’s gonna have to close her down.

Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don’t-
I’ve come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,
cut a little swathe and lead the people on.

Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep…

And, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step…

Cut a little swathe and lead the people on.

Julie Brueckheimer December 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Excellent comment and point scored. Susan Rice is a big, as you say ‘emotional’ distraction, from the serious questions about Benghazi.

Car in December 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Awesome. Feet meet fire.

This is what our democracy needs excessive amounts of.

Scottso December 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

The press is supposed to report. Reporting takes investigations and questions.
Without that, reporting would just be a press release.

Star December 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Why do I have a vague memory that Garrett kind of trended toward the Obama camp after leaving Fox? I am probably wrong.

Susan December 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm

No, you’re not wrong, Star.

Girly1 December 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm

You’re not wrong, Star. After a long hiatus, he started showing up on MSNBC a few months ago.

Rod December 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm

There is little accountability because the majority of voters DON’T CARE what this president does (so long as he continues to send the checks…) – it has nothing to do with the White House press corps. I would agree it’s a step in the right direction but it’s at least 5 years too late. Now that there is NOTHING the voters can do to express their displeasure at the direction of the country (to this President, at least), we’re beyond the point of a single, tough-minded reporter, gagging at the BS shoveled by this White House.

Langley Spook December 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm


cincycinco December 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I’m sure once he gets racist called on him a few times, he’ll start toeing the line..

srdem65 December 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Bring out the crayons and color me skeptical; I’ll believe it when I see it happen.
The best reporter/pressman in the country won’t be of any value if the man at the podium doesn’t call out his name and allow a question. The oh,so, polite chair-stitters in the press room who are afraid to speak out of turn for fear of losing their place in line at the WhiteHouse buffet are no more reporters/pressmen than I am sitting here at home.

Langley Spook December 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm

amen, (part 2)

Susan December 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Spot on, srdem.

Quintus Arrius December 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

This is stunning. Carney reading from a newspaper article like he is giving a 9th grade civics class? The press sec reading newspaper articles to the press corps? WTF?

cindylou December 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I know that was ridiculous, sounded like an opinion piece too

Quintus Arrius December 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Sarah Palin was right on this score: pushing back against this WH is not going to limit a reporter’s access when Carney gives his talking points from a newspaper that can be bought on any street corner in DC.

veritaseequitas December 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Why yes, Susan Rice is eminently qualified and has performed with great distinction in the Obama Administration. She went on national television and lied to the American people about Benghazi, which, in Obama’s eyes and those of his sycophants, equals performing with great distinction.
It is why she is being put forward for SoS. It is her prize for putting her butt on the line for this POS that claims the title of POTUS

Otis Driftwood December 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Hey Mod, I may have oopsed.. DMCA Rights to the lyrics. Please remove my post from earlier. I forgot about that pesky thing.


angienc December 5, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Now after TehPrecious is safely in his 2nd term, the MSM will pretend to report fairly on his activities so we can all forget that they’ve not only carried his water since 2008, they have flat out lied & suppressed stories for him. In fact, if they had reported on him fairly at all he (1) never would have won the 2008 primary and (2) would be polling in the low 30s (and lost re-election).

Way too little & way, way too late, Major.

cindylou December 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Watched the video-

if that is aggression what is passivity?