NPR's Liasson: "[A]ny time there's a contentious exchange in the White House press room, it makes the press look bad"

Video ››› ››› JOSH KALVEN

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On the September 7 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, National Public Radio (NPR) national political correspondent and Fox News political correspondent Mara Liasson stated that "any time there's a contentious exchange in the White House press room, it makes the press look bad."

Liasson's comment came in response to a video clip, aired by host Brit Hume at the top of the "All-Star Panel" segment of the show, depicting a heated exchange between White House press secretary Scott McClellan and NBC chief White House correspondent David Gregory during the September 7 White House press briefing. Liasson was NPR's White House correspondent throughout the Clinton administration.

From the September 7 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

McCLELLAN [video clip]: If you want to continue to engage in finger-pointing and blame-gaming, that's fine. We're going to engage --

GREGORY: Scott, that's ridiculous.

McCLELLAN: It's not ridiculous.

GREGORY: I'm not engaging in the attack. Don't try to accuse me of that.

McCLELLAN: No, everybody that watches this knows, David, that you're trying to engage in the blame game.

GREGORY: I am trying to engage?

McCLELLAN: Yes.

GREGORY: I am trying to engage?

McCLELLAN: That's correct.

GREGORY: That's a dodge. I have a follow-up question, since you dodged that one.

[End video clip]

HUME: And so it went at the White House briefing today for the second day in a row, questions and the sense from the White House that they won't consider anything that has to do with blame, something to be dealt with later on.

LIASSON: Now, in terms of that exchange between -- who was that, that was David Gregory and --

HUME: He's the guy from NBC.

LIASSON: Yeah. Look, any time there's a contentious exchange in the White House press room, it makes the press look bad. However, the question he asked before that exchange was, "Does the president have confidence in [Federal Emergency Management Agency director] Michael Brown?" Now, that is a standard question that's asked. So the question itself was completely legitimate. And Scott McClellan refused to answer it.

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