PRESS CONFERENCE UPDATE….Do reporters submit questions in advance for presidential press conferences? Reader Ken D followed up with the New York Times public editor, whose assistant wrote:
I spoke with an editor in the Washington Bureau who said the administration may plan beforehand which reporters or organizations will be called on to ask questions but that Times reporters do not submit their questions in advance. The editor said he would be surprised if any news organization submitted questions in advance.
See also here and here and the update here.
I don’t know what’s up with Ron Suskind’s quote. Maybe the USC reporter mangled what he said or took it out of context or something. In any case, this really strikes me as just an urban legend. There’s no there there.
UPDATE: Ken D has now received a response from Dan Okrent, the public editor himself, who says this:
I recently learned that you wrote to this office concerning the protocols of White House press conferences. I cannot speak for other news organizations, but I can assure you categorically that the New York Times does not — ever — submit press conference questions in advance.