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White House press corps criticizes lack of news conferences

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Members of the White House press corps continue to voice their frustrations that the Obama administration has chosen to bypass…

Members of the White House press corps continue to voice their frustrations that the Obama administration has chosen to bypass traditional news conferences in favor of prime time interviews and question-and-answer sessions on the Internet, The Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz reports.

Though President Obama has held town-hall style meetings and conversed with House Republicans before cameras, he has not held an official news conference since July. The White House press corps says this pick-and-choose approach to the news media is an attempt to control the administration’s message.

"It’s important for us to hold the president’s feet to the fire," CBS White House Correspondent Chip Reid told the Post.

The White House communications team, however, says the complaints are unjustified. "[N]ot doing press conferences is equated with not taking questions, and that’s not true," communications director Dan Pfeiffer told Kurtz, noting that newer online outlets — not just the traditional press corps — are now driving the political debate.