Video ‘Judges’ and ‘Distorts’ : Fitzwater Bans TV Briefings, Says He’s ‘Afraid’ of Cameras

Associated Press

White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said today that he is “afraid” to put his daily news briefings on television because the television camera “judges” and “distorts information.”

Fitzwater made the comments in responding to requests by television reporters that their cameras be permitted during a briefing being held at the White House today by a State Department official.

He declined the request, and then was asked why he does not admit television cameras to his own briefings.


“Because television judges--the television camera judges quite apart from information,” he said.

When he was asked what he found frightening about the power of television, Fitzwater said:

“One, because so few people understand it. And two, because it distorts information and it portrays information that is different than real substance.”

“What do you mean, people don’t understand it?” he was asked. “What don’t they understand about it?”

“About how it’s used, about . . . what its power is, about the power of pictures and what they do; those kinds of things,” he replied.

“I’m trying to tell you why I’m afraid of televised interviews,” the spokesman said.