- The Washington Times - Friday, December 19, 2014

In a first at the White House, President Obama called exclusively on female reporters Friday in his final news conference of the year.

Mr. Obama reached into his jacket pocket for his predetermined list of reporters to call on for questions, saying press secretary Josh Earnest had advised him “who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.” Apparently the male reporters have misbehaved, for the president proceeded to call on eight women in a row.

Retired reporter Ann Compton, who covered the White House for 40 years, told ABC News that an all-female press conference at the White House had never happened before.

First to be called on by the president was Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico, who asked about North Korea’s cyber-attack on Sony Pictures. When Mr. Obama was finished answering her question, he said to the reporter, “By the way, I hear you’re moving to Europe. Where are you going to be?”

“Brussels,” she said. “Helping Politico start a new publication.”

The president commented, “I think there’s no doubt that what Belgium needs is a version of Politico.”

Ms. Budoff Brown was followed by Cheryl Bolen of BloombergBNA, Julie Pace of Associated Press, Lesley Clark of McClatchy, Roberta Rampton of Reuters, Colleen McCain Nelson of the Wall Street Journal, Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post and April Ryan of American Urban Radio.

In addition to shutting out male reporters, the president also didn’t call on a single television correspondent, another rarity at presidential press conferences.


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