When Did You Stop Beating Your White House Spokesman?
Last week, an Irish journalist claimed that the White House demanded that she submit her interview questions in advance. After today's press briefing, they might start. You really have to read the whole thing to get the delicious flavor Scott McClellan flop-sweat, but this will get you started.
Q. Well, will you say from this lectern that it is not the policy of this White House to ask for questions in advance?
MR. McCLELLAN: Will you let me complete what I'm trying to say? Thank you. Just hold on a second. As I said, and you know very well from covering this White House, that any time a reporter sits down with the President, they are welcome to ask whatever questions they want to ask.
Q. Yes, but that's beside the point.
MR. McCLELLAN: And certainly there will be staff-level discussions, talking about what issues reporters may want to bring up in some of these interviews. I mean, that happens all the time.
Q. Indeed, it does.
MR. McCLELLAN: So reporters are able to ask whatever questions they want, Bill.
Q. Right, but that wasn't my question. (Laughter.)
MR. McCLELLAN: I'll be glad to look into this further.
Q. Is it policy to ask for questions in advance?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I don't know what some individual staffer may have done in another office, specifically in terms of this question that you're asking. I'll be glad to look into it. But reporters can ask the President whatever questions they want. I think we've addressed this question.
Q. Is it your policy to ask for questions in advance?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, it is not my policy. In fact, if reporters would give me their questions, this press briefing would be a whole lot easier, I'm sure. But that's not my policy.
Q. Sometimes you might answer them. (Laughter.)