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Reporters Held to 4 Minutes With President By Countdown Clock, Looming Aide, and Standing Up

7:51 AM, Mar 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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According to a local CBS Arizona affiliate, President Obama and his team have 3 tactics to make sure reporters stick to the 4 minutes the White House has allotted them to interview the leader of the world: a countdown clock, a looming aide, and they have to conduct the interview with the president while standing up. 

One CBS anchor called the measures "a little ridiculous."

"We immediately launched into our interview because there was a person standing behind him actually counting down to the four minutes. And by the time he answered my last question, I realized that we had already gone over the four minutes, so that's why I took an opportunity to sort of ask a lighter question afterward because I figured at that point, you know, why not? I have nothing to lose," said the local reporter.

"But what was interesting--a side note--is the reason why we're standing, I was told by one of his staffers, is because he likes to get comfortable when he's sitting and he tends to get very chatty. And so this was another way to keep him--and us--at the four minutes that they were suggesting that we not go over."

Said the local anchor, "Yeah, and it sounds like the pressure is on when some guy is standing behind him with a countdown clock. That's a little ridiculous."

President Obama gave a round of interviews to local affiliates yesterday in the White House. Only the CBS Arizona affiliate revealed the process behind the scenes.

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