White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied on Thursday a television news reporter’s day-old claim that reporters often ‘provide the questions to him in advance,’ before his daily briefings, and that he sometimes provides answers on paper before taking the podium.
Within hours, the Phoenix reporter at the center of a quick-drying controversy admitted she got the whole thing wrong.
Phoenix news anchor Catherine Anaya reported Wednesday night on KPHO-TV5 that in an ‘off the record’ meeting, Carney had told a handful of local TV reporters that White House correspondents often tell him before daily briefings what they’ll be asking.
‘If only this were true,’ Carney told MailOnline Thursday morning.
By mid-afternoon Anaya, fresh off a Washington-to-Phoenix flight, walked parts of her story back in an email to MailOnline. But she insisted that she herself was asked to submit a question in advance for Carney on Wednesday afternoon.
‘As a local journalist I had no issue providing my proposed question in advance,’ she told MailOnline, ‘because I wanted to make sure it was an appropriate q[uestion] for a national briefing and I wanted to make sure it was appropriate for Mr. Carney.’
‘[B]ut in discussing it with a staff member the night before, we decided I would save it for the president. I was attempting to not waste national time on a local question, but in my attempt at explaining that I unintentionally made it sound like that experience applied to everyone.’
‘That is my mistake,’ Anaya added, ‘and I own up to it.’
Meanwhile, KPHO-TV issued a separate statement attributed to Anaya, but the CBS affiliate station quickly deleted it from its website.
Assignment Editor Scott Davis told MailOnline that it ‘apparently … was not the correct statement.’
Anaya’s on-air commentary remains on the website, however.
‘We started here shortly after 8 o’clock with a coffee with Press Secretary Jay Carney inside his office in the West Wing,’ she said on the air, before making a stunning breach of journalistic protocol by reporting on an ‘off the record’ meeting and airing a photo of it.
SOURCE: Mail Online – David Martosko