A CBS reporter from Arizona reveals that President Obama's press secretary, Jay Carney, receives questions from the press in advance of his daily press briefing. In fact, she says, the reporters often receive the answers in advance of the briefing, too.
According to the reporter, Jay Carney told her this yesterday at the White House:
"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."
The reporter, from a local CBS Arizona affiliate, interviewed President Obama yesterday.
UPDATE: Carney denies:
.@RalstonReports Briefings would be a lot easier if this were true! Rest assured, it is not.— Jay Carney (EOP) (@PressSec) March 20, 2014
UPDATE II: CBS reporter Catherine Anaya issues this statement on her report:
"It seems much had been inferred about my observations following my White House visit yesterday.
"First, I did not take notes during our coffee with Jay Carney because it was off the record. But when I referenced the meeting in my live reports I did say that it was a great opportunity to talk about the challenges of his day and how he has to be so well-versed on many topics each day.
"In my live report I also wanted to share my impression of my experience in getting a question answered during the briefing. I was indeed asked to provide my question in advance. Because my question was largely of local interest, I chose to save it for my interview with the President instead.
"My mistake was to lump that experience with my coffee meeting reference, inadvertently giving Mr. Carney credit for that when in fact it did not come from him. I regret giving anyone the impression that it was from conversation I had with Mr. Carney.
"I do not attend those briefings regularly and cannot speak directly to the process for non-visiting journalists.
"None of my observations stemmed from my off-the-record meeting with Jay Carney."
UPDATE III: The local CBS Arizona affiliate statement from Catherine Anaya has now been inexplicably deleted.
UPDATE IV: Here's Catherine Anaya's new statement:
"Last night during my live reports from the White House I attempted to describe the highlights of the day. I was speaking off the cuff and unscripted and in the process I made two major mistakes: I reported an off the record conversation and what I reported was not accurate. I took a conversation about the preparation for a press briefing and muddied it with my own experience of wanting to provide a question for the press briefing. I incorrectly applied the process to everyone. That was wrong and it was bad reporting. But it was not intentional and I would never purposely report inaccurate information. The White House never asked for my questions in advance and never instructed me what to ask. I chose to provide one of my questions in advance of the press briefing because I wanted to make sure it would have broad appeal. I did not attribute or report factually last night and for that I deeply apologize. I pride myself on truth and objectivity. I sincerely regret any harm I've caused and I hope that you will continue to place your trust in the hardworking journalists who make up CBS 5 News."