An Arizona news anchor had media critics and conservatives crowing when she said that White House press secretary Jay Carney receives questions from journalists in advance. But Carney said Thursday that’s definitely not the case.
Catherine Anaya, an anchor at Phoenix television station KPHO, shared some details on-air from her “off-the-record” meeting with Carney this week.
“It was a very busy day. We started here shortly after 8 o’clock with a coffee with press secretary Jay Carney inside his office in the West Wing,” Anaya said. “And this was the off-the-record so we were able to ask him all about some of the preparation that he does on a regular basis for talking to the press in his daily press briefings. He showed us a very long list of items that he has to be well versed on every single day.”
Anaya’s next recollection from the meeting is what got the attention of the likes of The Weekly Standard.
“And then he also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it’s something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask — the correspondents — they are provided to him in advance,” she said. “So then he knows what he’s going to be answering and sometimes those correspondents and reporters also have those answers printed in front of them, because of course it helps when they’re producing their reports for later on. So that was very interesting.”
Longtime Nevada journalist Jon Ralston jokingly sent out a link to a video of Anaya’s remarks, drawing a swift denial from Carney.
.@RalstonReports Briefings would be a lot easier if this were true! Rest assured, it is not.
— Jay Carney (EOP) (@PressSec) March 20, 2014
Scott Davis, an assignment editor at KPHO, told TPM in an email that Anaya was traveling on a plane Thursday and was unable to immediately respond.
“We will see that this is explored further,” he wrote.
By the looks of her social media activity, Anaya had a good time in Washington and described it as a “#CareerTopper.”
— Catherine Anaya CBS5 (@CatherineAnaya) March 19, 2014
This post has been updated.