Only television allowed
John Ashcroft held a press conference at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia this week. It's one of a dozen scheduled events across the country. Ashcroft spoke on his favorite subject: The Patriot Act.
Howard Altman was there, covering the event for the Philadelphia City Paper. But he wasn't allowed into the news briefing because "he is not talking to print. Only talking to television."
"I think it sucks, but if he wants to talk to TV, there's not much we can do," Nick Fox, a New York Times national editor, responds via e-mail. "The president does that; I can't recall the AG doing it."
And it's not like this administration is known for giving press conferences. In fact, the Bush regime is notorious for not holding more press events.
He [George W. Bush] obviously hates news conferences, which is why he hadn't held one since March  before fielding questions in the Rose Garden on Wednesday [July30, 2003]. In fact, this was only Bush's ninth full-scale presser since taking office, compared to at least 52 for LBJ, 16 for Nixon, 37 for Ford, 45 for Carter, 16 for Reagan, 58 for Bush Sr. and 30 for Clinton.