The Washington Post reports that new White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten is considering removing cameras for most of news conferences. The thinking is this will discourage reporters from grandstanding and being heroes for their favorite liberal causes in the press room.
Bolten tipped his hand in only one area, suggesting that the White House might stop allowing its daily news briefing to be televised in full in hopes of discouraging posturing for the cameras and toning down the confrontational atmosphere. Television cameras were permitted only for the opening minutes of the briefing until Clinton White House press secretary Michael McCurry allowed them to air the entire session beginning in 1995.
Bolten said he would leave it up to new press secretary Tony Snow to decide whether to reverse that. "It's worth considering," Bolten said. "I think that will be Tony Snow's first test to see what kind of power player he really is and whether he's able to establish the right kind of relationship with the press that we need going forward."
Bolten's choice of Fox for his first interview since taking over as chief of staff April 14 provided fodder for critics of the relationship between the White House and its favorite news network. Snow hosted Fox News Sunday from its inception in 1996 until 2003 and then hosted a Fox radio show. The White House says it sometimes turns to Fox for interviews for a fairer, not friendlier, shake and said Bolten agreed to go on because the Sunday show was celebrating its 10th anniversary.