White House reporters threaten to go on strike
WASHINGTON, DC -- The White House Briefing Room saw a tense showdown between the executive branch and the press on Tuesday culminating in TV and print media threatening to go on strike to protest Clinton’s “appallingly professional, scandal-free” presidency.
“It’s an assault on journalism,” said New York Times’s Maggie Haberman. “The public is tired of made-up Clinton scandals. How are we supposed to do our jobs when the Clinton White House refuses to provide us with actual scandals?”
The standoff began 25 minutes after Press Secretary Leslie Jones began Tuesday’s briefing, when reporters refused to ask her any questions, reducing Jones to stunned silence.
“Really y’all? Is that it?,” asked a befuddled Jones. “I mean, hell, President Clinton will be embarking on her fourth international trip this weekend to speak to Southeast Asian leaders regarding economic development. Isn’t there something - anything that y’all want to know?”
After another awkward pause of nearly ten seconds, Urban Radio Networks' veteran White House reporter April Ryan finally spoke up:
“Listen Leslie, don’t take this personally, but this White House is waging war on the Fourth Estate,” said Ryan, as her peers nodded agreement. “Here we are, 115 days in, and the Clinton Administration is unspeakably boring. Her cabinet is the most qualified and diverse in history. Her approval rating is through the roof, the economy is humming, and America’s allies are heaping praise on our consistent, coherent and idealistic of our global leadership. This will not stand!” she said.
“It’s true,” exclaimed CNN’s Jim Acosta. “Clinton is terrible for ratings. Every time we try to gin up controversy, it fails. The administration is always on the same page, and the message is always the same — whether it’s coming from the president, senior aides, government officials, surrogates, or you, Leslie.”
“If it continues like this, we’re going on strike!” he threatened.
Jones shook her head.
“Y’all are ridiculous! We’ve got the country’s first female president, the leader of the free world, doing a kickass job and all y’all want is for her to screw up so you can sell some extra ad buys! Well I, for one, am not going to apologize for the good work this administration has done and the work we still have left to do.”
“Leslie, are you saying this administration has failed to meet its goals?,” asked Kevin Corke of Fox News.
Jones laughed. “I see what you did there. Trying to get me to slip up. Y’all are incorrigible. No, Kevin, what I’m saying is the administration is still working on its ambitious agenda. For example, just last week President Clinton signed into law the Special Education Safe Schools Act which once again…”
Audible groans were heard from the White House press corps as Jones provided a ten-minute, highly articulate explanation of the law's import.