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Perino Ends The Gaggle

The press gaggle is no longer.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino announced today that she would no longer conduct a press gaggle, choosing instead to “collapse the gaggle and the briefing, which someone affectionately called the ‘griefing.’”

Why?

“I think the original intent of the gaggle was a great one and worked for many years, but the model is just not necessarily the best in a modern era,” Perino said.

The gaggle, you surely know, is an off camera briefing and is cited by many reporters as not only a better opportunity to get information (with the cameras off) but also a better opportunity to get to know the press secretary (since, again, the cameras are off and the atmosphere is more casual).

More of Perino’s announcement after the jump…


From today’s Gaggle:

    Q Will you brief on Thursday and Friday?

    MS. PERINO: Actually, I ‘ m going to give a little bit of update here on that situation. Yes, I will brief on Thursday and Friday — actually, I think Tony Fratto will brief you on Friday. I have made a decision in working with the White House Correspondents Association President, to let her know — I ‘ m going to try and experiment, to collapse the gaggle and the briefing, which the — which someone affectionately called the “griefing.” (Laughter.)

    And for several reasons — but try to — to see if we can try doing a briefing sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. every morning. I think we ‘ ve proved to you over the past seven days that we respond to all questions at all hours of the day, all hours of the night. And I think the original intent of the gaggle was a great one and worked for many years, but the model is just not necessarily the best in a modern era.

    And we also have large international audiences that we are trying to reach that are several hours ahead of us. I think the State Department has recently made this same move. I ‘ m going to try it out and we ‘ ll see how it works. And I appreciate anybody ‘ s feedback on it. And then if it doesn ‘ t work, we ‘ ll readjust.

    But so I think we ‘ ll start that — we already did that this week, but that was sort of unintentional because of the hurricane. I was going to plan to start it next week. So I ‘ ll try it and we ‘ ll see how it goes.

    Q So the mode is a 10:30 a.m. on camera-style briefing?

    MS. PERINO: Correct.

    Q That ‘ s it?

    MS. PERINO: Correct.

    Q — have to be 10:30 a.m. or sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.?

    MS. PERINO: I think I ‘ m going to target 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. I ‘ m a little bit of a creature of habit. If I say I ‘ m briefing at 12:30 p.m., it ‘ s usually 12:30 p.m. every day, maybe 12:40 p.m. But I think 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. I do think that because of the amount of questions that come in in the morning, I hope that the press will be better served by this because I ‘ ll have more time to track down and get answers that have come in overnight and in the early morning. So that ‘ s my hope and we ‘ ll give a shot.

    Q You ‘ re going to do it generally the same time every day?

    MS. PERINO: Yes, that ‘ s what I hope — sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Maybe I ‘ ll try 11:00 a.m. I don ‘ t know. I ‘ m just going to see how it goes. But, you know, Europe is between six and seven hours ahead; Asia obviously much farther ahead.

    Q — because like 11:30 a.m. gets more time — you know, more stuff to roll in if we ‘ ve got one shot –

    MS. PERINO: I don ‘ t know if there ‘ s too much different between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and there ‘ s a big difference, especially for the press office staff that starts at 6:30 a.m. in the morning. We are in back-in-back meetings until 9:00 a.m. — and then to gaggle at 9:30 a.m., which has really become a briefing, and then turn around two-and-a-half hours later and do it again is just — it ‘ s not working as well for everybody. So I ‘ m going to give a shot. And again I really welcome the feedback from the press. And we ‘ ll see how it works.

    Q Can you just stand at the podium all day long?

    MS. PERINO: I always say that if there ‘ s anything about news reporters, the thing they hate the most is anything that affects — that ‘ s new to them and that affects them, and change is very hard for the media. It ‘ s like one of the most interesting things. So we ‘ ll gently glide into this and we ‘ ll adjust if we need to. Okay?

    Q Can we just put a camera in your office and leave it on? (Laughter.)

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