At President Barack Obama’s final press conference of the year, every question went to female reporters.
President Barack Obama waves as he leaves his news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. The president claimed an array of successes in 2014, citing lower unemployment, a rising number of Americans covered by health insurance, and an historic diplomatic opening with Cuba. He also touts his own executive action and a Chinese agreement to combat global warming. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
After Obama's all-female question list sent Twitter buzzing, the White House confirmed that it was done by design.
“The fact is there are many women from a variety of news organizations who day in and day out do the hard work of covering the president of the United States. As the questioner list started to come together, we realized we had a unique opportunity to highlight the fact at the president’s closely watched end of the year news conference,” press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.
The news conference opened with Politico’s Carrie Budoff-Brown, who elicited a blunt response from Obama about Sony's decision to pull "The Interview." She was followed by Bloomberg BNA’s Cheryl Bolen, the Associated Press’ Julie Pace, McClatchy’s Lesley Clark, Reuters’ Roberta Rampton, the Wall Street Journal’s Colleen Nelson and then the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin. The last question went to April Ryan of American Urban Radio Network.
According to CBS News' Mark Knoller, TV reporters were told in advance that the president intended to take questions from reporters not regularly called on.
Former CNN reporter Suzanne Malveaux tweeted, "Covered White House for 10 yrs, never have seen POTUS call on all women reporters #unprecedented!"
Gwen Ifill of PBS tweeted, "see how newsy press conferences can be when women ask the questions?"
The Washington Post's Jennifer Epstein wrote, "women of the White House press corps rock."