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The Nation

White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater suggested that the institution of the presidential press conference is overrated as a means of communicating with the American people. Defending the infrequency with which President Reagan has held full-scale, prime-time press conferences, Fitzwater said that no chief executive should be expected to fulfill a quota on such question-and-answer sessions. Fitzwater was responding during his daily news briefing to a Harvard commission’s report that said, among other things, that White House news conferences have fallen into “a serious state of disarray” under Reagan. The 16-member Harvard Commission on the Presidential News Conference criticized Reagan for holding too few press conferences.


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