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WH: ‘Off The Record’ Was Just ‘Deep Background’

From the Politico:

White House holds ‘deep background’ Benghazi briefing

By DYLAN BYERS | May 10, 2013

The White House held a "deep background" briefing with reporters on Friday afternoon to discuss recent revelations about the Benghazi investigation, sources familiar with the meeting tell POLITICO.

The meeting was conducted on "deep background," according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, but sources told POLITICO that the existence of the meeting was "off the record." The meeting began around 12:45 p.m. and postponed the daily, on-the-record White House press briefing until mid-afternoon.

The session was announced to reporters in the wake of an ABC News report showing that White House and State Dept. officials were involved in revising the now-discredited CIA talking points about the attack on Benghazi.

Emails obtained by ABC News show that State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland requested that the CIA scrub references to an Al Qaeda-linked group, which, Nuland told White House officials, “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings."

UPDATE (3:05 p.m.): I asked Earnest to explain the meaning of "deep background," as defined by the White House, for my readers. He emails:

Deep background means that the info presented by the briefers can be used in reporting but the briefers can’t be quoted.

UPDATE (3:30 p.m.): White House press secretary Jay Carney addressed the meeting at today’s public briefing. He said reporters from 14 news organizations were present, including television, print and online.

Here we thought that some in the media might be furious at being left out of this briefing. (After all, isn’t an "off the record" press conference a contradiction in terms?) But they seem to be unfazed. There has been no outrage at all.

All the White House had to do was explain that all the reporters got it wrong — it wasn’t an off the record briefing after all — it was just "deep background." And there no longer was a problem.

Still, try to imagine the Bush White House getting away with something like this.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, May 13th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “WH: ‘Off The Record’ Was Just ‘Deep Background’”

  1. Deep background sounds like Chicago Bathhouse code words ….

  2. USSFreedom

    I assume over the weekend the Central Committee was hard at work coming up with spin for talking points
    to be used in the upcoming TV, radio newscasts and all print publications willingly toeing the disinformantion guidelines issued. I can only guess which outlets were not invited. MAINLY, those unwilling to further the party line of, “the deletions were made by lower echelon lackeys and never, ever were seen by the smartest man in any room or the smartest woman ever to hold the postion of SOS and if any question our findings, it is because they are racist, sexist, raving manics and more than likely, Christians and or gun lovers out to disparage the most transparent, fair minded administration in the history of this country full of racist, sexists, Christians that love guns
    and have no idea ” WE, are the ones they have been waiting for.” And by the way, the IRS will be much too busy
    to be checking into any of your publishers campaign contributions or your returns, too many subversive Patriots to audit. All together now, MMM MMM MMM.

  3. canary

    The solution that Jay Carney asks from the public is simple.
    Jay Carney would be perfect for the new U.S. Ambassador to Libya.


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