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A Cold Day In Washington

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven writes on White House press secretary Tony Snow "suffered a couple missteps in his first question-and-answer session with the White House press corps" this morning. While Snow has yet to take the big, public stage and hold a formal "briefing" (he announced today that will happen Tuesday), he held his first "gaggle" with White House reporters today. The gaggle is a more informal briefing session, which Snow held in his office today, than the on-camera event the rest of us are used to seeing. Here's Loven's take on Snow's first gaggle:
Snow danced around several queries by saying he did not know enough to answer. And although he had at times been harshly critical of President Bush as a Fox News commentator and conservative radio host, Snow clearly was being careful not to step on the wrong toes now that he speaks on behalf of Bush.

For instance, one reporter asked about the government's abrupt end this week to an inquiry into a warrantless eavesdropping program because the National Security Agency refused to grant Justice Department lawyers the necessary security clearance.

Snow deferred that one to deputy press secretary Dana Perino. "There's a very limited number of people who are briefed on that program," she said.

As the discussion continued, reporters complained that they couldn't hear the soft-spoken Perino. Snow took over, read a few talking points from a sheet of paper and then ended that line of questioning. "As the new kid on the block, I'm not fully briefed on the issue," he said.

Given Snow's background as a high-profile journalist and conservative commentator, is it safe to say he might be the most-scrutinized White House press secretary ever?
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