UPDATE: Phoenix news anchor Catherine Anaya on Thursday walked back parts of her claim that some reporters often tell White House Press Secretary Jay Carney what they will be asking ahead of daily briefings.
In an email to the Daily Mail, Anaya said that she was asked to submit a question ahead of a daily briefing on Wednesday.
“As a local journalist I had no issue providing my proposed question in advance 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,” she wrote.
She apologized for “unintentionally” making it “sound like that experience applied to everyone.”
“That is my mistake, and I own up to it,” she added.
A local Arizona anchor, who visited the White House Wednesday to interview President Barack Obama, made headlines when she said that White House press secretary Jay Carney gets questions before the press briefing and often answers in advance of the briefing.
But Carney asserted the contrary in a tweet Thursday saying on Twitter, “Briefings would be a lot easier if this were true! Rest assured, it is not.”
.@RalstonReports Briefings would be a lot easier if this were true! Rest assured, it is not.
— Jay Carney (EOP) (@PressSec) March 20, 2014
Catherine Anaya, the co-anchor for KPHO, the CBS affiliate in Phoenix, talked about her interview with the president and talked about what Carney told a group of local anchors during an off the record meeting in his office that day.
The Weekly Standard honed in on what she had to say about the daily press briefing.
Anaya said on the air:
It was a very busy day. We started here shortly after 8 o’clock with a coffee with press secretary Jay Carney inside his office in the West Wing. says the reporter. And this was the off-the-record so we were able to ask him all about some of the preparation that he does on a regular basis for talking to the press in his daily press briefings. He showed us a very long list of items that he has to be well versed on every single day.
And then he also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it’s something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask — the correspondents — they are provided to him in advance. So then he knows what he’s going to be answering and sometimes those correspondents and reporters also have those answers printed in front of them, because of course it helps when they’re producing their reports for later on. So that was very interesting.”
That said, it’s not unusual to call or e-mail questions to a press spokesperson rather than wait for a daily press briefing. Moreover, in some cases, a written response might warrant a follow up. TV networks for their part often want to get footage of someone speaking about a topic.