The incident’s aftermath was one in a series that roiled the State Department press corps as it adjusts to a new administration whose tendencies – in this one area – are more restrictive than its predecessors. This may not be by accident: One government official said State and the White House have been discussing reducing the amount of information the State Department releases about the secretary’s words and meetings, which by long tradition is more expansive than what’s released by some other agencies.
Reporters who deal with the State Department wouldn’t voice their complaints on the record. Those who spoke on background said they had enjoyed what they saw as excellent access to Clinton during a previous trip to Asia.
But the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler let some of the dissatisfaction show on his blog during the trip to Europe and the Middle East.
He reported from Sharm el-Sheikh that Clinton was the first secretary of state in seven years not to brief reporters at the beginning of a trip. “We got off the plane, wordless. This was a big deal for the press corps.”
Once you pull the pin, Mr. Hand Grenade is no longer necessarily your friend.