Josh Bolten's Message to the Press

Monday, May 01, 2006

Josh Bolten's Message to the Press

From today's Washington Post:
White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten made his television debut in his new role yesterday, describing his West Wing shakeup as an attempt "to get our mojo back" at a time when a politically weakened President Bush faces election-year challenges over war, immigration and energy costs.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday" just days after recruiting the show's former host to be the new White House press secretary, Bolten said he wants to foster "a more open environment to the press and to the public."
What does Bolten mean by a "more open environment"? As the article explains two paragraphs later:
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.
I sense that Bolten isn't bent on reducing TV exposure of press briefings. Instead, he's using the threat of change as leverage.

His message to the White House press corps is clear: ease up on the prez or else we'll take an action that reduces your profile as reporters.

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