When press briefings are allowed to be on-camera, reporters are more likely to ask “snarky questions,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in an interview with radio host Laura Ingraham on Wednesday.
“Where you see a lot of the sniping coming in, a lot of (reporters) want to become YouTube stars and ask snarky questions that’s been asked eight times and that’s their right, that’s their right to do it, but our job is to make sure we’re providing updates and read outs of what the President is doing,” he said, when Ingraham asked about reporters getting frustrated with his off-camera media briefings.
He said his department has done more briefings off-camera because there were “several” news outlets that were violating the press guidelines his office laid out, like broadcasting audio of the interviews live.
“The nice thing about turning the cameras off sometimes is, and I find this, when it is not performance art, as you call it, you sometimes end up having a more substantive discussion about actual issues because they’re not trying to get their clips, they’re not trying to figure out, ‘How do I get on TV?’ ‘How do I ask some snarky question?’ You can actually focus on the substance of the issues,” he said.
Spicer said he’s made it clear since he was hired that he wanted to do things “better” than previous administrations by giving access to other news outlets that “haven’t had it.”
“The bottom line is the mainstream media had a stranglehold on deciding what information the American people got to see and are in some ways upset that more people are getting the opportunity to get involved and having their questions answered to participate in democracy,” he said, adding that he’s available to every outlet and reiterating his early morning and late night schedule he mentioned in the press briefing on Tuesday.
“I get in, essentially, around 6 a.m. until fairly late at night and we have an entire press staff that’s totally accessible during those hours and on the weekends to the press,” he said.