The White House press conference erupted in protest Monday after Associated Press (AP) reporter Josh Boak ended the briefing early.
Boak called for the end of the briefing after only 39 minutes, leading New York Post reporter Steve Nelson to stand up and tell Boak that reporters in the back rows had unanswered questions. Steve Portnoy, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA), has said it is tradition for the oldest wire service, the AP, to determine the end of the briefings whether or not other reporters have questions.
Photographs show Portnoy standing at the front of the room responding to tensions between reporters, which lasted for around six minutes.
Tensions boiled over when Lynn Sweet, the Washington-Bureau Chief at the Chicago Sun-Times, called for an end to the tradition of the oldest wire service determining the end of the briefing so that all attendees “feel they have a shot” to speak, according to tapes obtained by the Daily Caller.
“Baby steps, can we maybe think about ending the tradition of having one of our own end the briefing and let the White House end the briefing?” Sweet suggested. Another reporter chimed in that it “is not right” for one reporter to end the event.
Portnoy replied “that is a decision for the White House press secretary to make,” tapes revealed. He told the reporters he would consider the issue at stake, leading a handful of reporters to cheer.
This is an excerpt from the Daily Caller.
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