The Press: White House Press Conference

Franklin Roosevelt established the Presidential press conference as an institution. No other U.S. President had ever been so regularly accessible to newsmen. McKinley on occasion had stepped to the White House door, chatted briefly and uninformatively with reporters. Theodore Roosevelt had used favorite correspondents for "trial balloon" stories and consigned them to "the Ananias Club" if the stories proved embarrassing. Wilson had shut off press conferences after war drew near. Harding, after an ill-fated attempt to be frank, would answer only questions submitted in writing. Coolidge dodged behind the anonymity of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!