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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Lockhart’

BuzzFeed Highlights Evasive Phrasing in White House Press Briefings

BuzzFeedLogoBuzzFeed’s John Templon yesterday published a piece on elusive phrases offered by White House press secretaries after analyzing 5,000 briefings dating back to the 1993 Clinton White House.

President Clinton’s press secretaries George Stephanopoulos, Dee Dee Myers, Jake Siewert, and Joe Lockhart led their counterparts from the Obama and Bush administrations in their use of “weasel phrases,” as described by BuzzFeed as “I can’t comment on,” “I’m not aware [of/that/etc.],” and “I don’t know.”

Per every 1,000 words, Stephanopoulos and Myers uttered 12.5 and 11.0 “weasel phrases,” respectively, compared to Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer at 3.4

Click through to BuzzFeed for a list of trends as well as each press secretary’s favorite – evasive – phrases.

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Ed Henry Recalls Being Told to ‘Zip it’

Four former White House Press Secretaries joined former CNN White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief Frank Sesno at George Washington University last night for candid conversation.

Press secretaries from the Clinton administration – Dee Dee Myers (now a contributing editor for Vanity Fair) and Mike McCurry – joined Bush 43 press secretaries Dana Perino (now a FNC contributor) and Ari Fleischer at the university’s Lisner Auditorium. Another Clinton flack, Joe Lockhart, planned to attend, but couldn’t due to complications following surgery.

The event, broadcast on C-SPAN and P.O.T.U.S. radio, opened with remarks from CNN’s current White House correspondent, Ed Henry (he and Lockhart are fellows at GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs this year). Henry spoke about “sparring” with several press secretaries during his five years at the White House, and recounted a story about the late Tony Snow, who once lost his temper in a briefing and told Henry to “zip it.” The next day, they put it behind them. It’s important, he said, for the press secretary and the press corps to have a “healthy dose of respect” for one another.

With that, the press secretaries were introduced, and Sesno posed the first question: Was President Obama’s sit-down with Bill O’Reilly before the Superbowl a good idea or a bad one? All agreed it was a “great” idea. “Everyone in America’s in a good mood,” Perino said. Fleischer thought Obama “scored some points for going over to the lion’s den.”

McCurry, along with the rest of the panel, lamented allowing TV cameras in the briefing room, which he said had turned briefings into political theater and weren’t good for public discourse. “It was an idiot who allowed TV cameras” into the briefing room, he joked. (He was the one who first introduced the cameras.)

Each panelist spoke about the relationship the press secretary has with the press. You always see the press secretary defending the president, Perino said, but “you never see” him or her “defending the press to the president,” which is a big part of the job. Others agreed.

But the relationship isn’t always friendly. “Reporters play the aggressive role,” Fleischer said. He charged they also demand an unrealistic amount of access. “They won’t be satisfied till there’s Oval Office cam.” McCurry agreed: “They’re always bitching and moaning about something.”

A few specific reporters were mentioned…

Also: Find out what Perino thinks of AOL/HuffPost

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A Trifecta of Fellows: Lockhart, Henry, and Herbert

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Fellow – it’s such a distinguished word.

And in our midst are three new George Washington University fellows. They are former White House Press Sec. under Bill Clinton and managing director of The Glover Park Group Joe Lockhart, CNN’s senior White House correspondent Ed Henry and NYT columnist Bob Herbert. They’ve been appointed as such to the School of Media and Public Affairs for the 2010-2011 school year.

With mid-term elections fast approaching, they will examine political races with students. “Their varied experiences not only embody the trifecta of public affairs and communications but also get at the heart of what we teach – reporting, opinion journalism and political communication,” remarked Frank Sesno, director of GWU’s School of Media and Public Affairs.

What exactly will these fellows do? Find out after the jump…

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Who Is This 40 year old?

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Find out after the jump…

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Morning Reading List, 07.14.08

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Good morning, Washington. Above, Adam Verdugo makes his television debut.

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line or let us know in the tips box below.

We’ve got your morning mix of media Muesli after the jump…

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