Milestone: Obama Calls on Women Only at Press Conference
White House says it was a deliberate decision
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2014 10:06 AM CST
President Obama speaks during Friday's news conference.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – One interesting quirk from yesterday's presidential news conference: President Obama took questions from eight reporters, and all were women. What's more, it was no accident, reports Politico (whose Carrie Budoff Brown got the first question). White House spokesman Josh Earnest explains:

  • "The fact is, there are many women from a variety of news organizations who day-in and day-out do the hard work of covering the president of the United States. As the questioner list started to come together, we realized that we had a unique opportunity to highlight that fact."

It's both a milestone and a sign of the times, writes Zeke Miller at Time. "Before the George H.W. Bush White House, it would have been hard to find eight women to ask questions of the president, as there weren’t that many on the beat." Also of note: It was during this Q&A portion that the president actually made some news, by criticizing Sony's decision to pull its movie The Interview. "See how newsy press conferences can be when women ask the questions?" tweeted Gwen Ifill of PBS.