Clinton White House in 1993: On-Camera Press Briefings ‘Aren’t Really Necessary’


Former President Bill Clinton's White House also stopped having on-camera press briefings early in its first year, with Clinton's press secretary telling C-SPAN at the time that they did not believe the briefings were "really necessary."

"I think that that was something that we did in the first week or two. I can't remember exactly when we stopped it," Dee Dee Myers said in a recently unearthed clip from March 1993.

"It was a new administration. I think we wanted to talk about what was going on here," she said. "I think we found that it wasn't really necessary."

"The briefing is more an opportunity to exchange ideas and to have a conversation about what's happening," she continued. "That wasn't really happening as productively as we had hoped."

Myers added that going forward the White House would only broadcast the first five minutes of the daily briefings from fellow Clinton press aide George Stephanopoulos. The remaining Q&A with reporters, she said, was "just not for cameras."

The move mirrors the current reluctance of President Donald Trump's administration to hold on-camera press briefings. White House press secretary Sean Spicer's decision has led to criticism from the press corps, with CNN's Jim Acosta even repeatedly interrupting the briefing on Monday to demand an explanation.

Alex Griswold

Alex Griswold   Email Alex | Full Bio | RSS
Alex is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Before joining the Free Beacon, he was a writer for Mediaite and The Daily Caller. He is originally from Buffalo, New York, but regrettably now lives in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at

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