This was the 4th song we ever recorded, and I’d like to record it again because we were still figuring out what we sounded like. It’s about WH press secretary Dana Perino – this incident that happened today made me feel like it was a tune worth digging up – Enjoy “Dana, Dana” and read the nonsense below.
Yesterday at the White House press briefing, Dana Perino asked me to lower my hand when I raised it to ask a question. I’ve been attending White House briefings for over three years—first for the group blog BTC News, and since this January for RAW STORY—and I’ve never before seen a press secretary ask a reporter to put his or her hand down.
At the time, I thought she was winding down her answer to a question posed by April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks regarding the Secret Service’s investigation into a “noose incident” at one of its training facilities. Dana’s response to April had begun like this:
“Well, as you just said, the Secret Service is investigating the incident and as you just said also, they have not completed that investigation, so I’m not going to get ahead of them and I’ll let them do that.”
Since the White House has a policy of not commenting on ongoing investigations, I thought she was about to move on, so at that point I raised my hand. I was sitting in Helen Thomas’s seat (Helen was absent) in the middle of the front row, so I was face to face with Dana. Although a couple of other reporters in the front row raised their hand at the same time, Dana singled me out for criticism, interrupting her answer to complain:
“Can you please put your hand down for a second so I can concentrate on April.”
I complied, but continued to raise it, at appropriate times, throughout the rest of the briefing, during which Dana ignored me completely.
Dana has spontaneously called on me only two times in the four months I’ve attended her briefings (a third instance came about only because Les Kinsolving shamed her into it). Her deputies, Tony Fratto and Scott Stanzel, have each called on me once. Between the three of them, they’ve ignored my attempts to ask a question on twenty occasions. So they’ve willingly called on me 16% of the time, and ignored or tried to ignore me 84% of the time. That makes it hard to do my job. Every other reporter who gets a seat in the first five rows of the briefing room (I’ve been in the first three rows all this year) gets called on as often as he or she wants, some several times a day. The only exception that I know of happened last year when Tony Snow ignored Kinsolving three days in a row for asking what Tony considered to be irrelevant questions. Dana, however, calls on Kinsolving at every briefing, and he asks two questions each time.
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