Friday, September 14, 2007

What's a Gaggle?

Briefing v. Gaggle

Definition: gag-gle /'gagel'/n,, a flock of geese. informal a disorderly or noisy group of people: the gaggle of reporters and photographers that dogged his every step, Middle English (as a verb): imitative of the noise that a goose makes; compare with Dutch gaggelen and German gackern.
--The New Oxford American Dictionary

Ever wonder how a White House Press Gaggle differs from a White House Press Briefing?

Haven't we all?

Washington Monthly (Jan 2003)

According to an email from an "ex-White House grunt":

"Gaggles" historically refer to informal briefings the press secretary conducts with the press pool rather than the entire press corps. They used to happen in the morning, they were more or less off the record, and their purpose was mostly to exchange information - the president's schedule and briefing schedule, from the administration side; heads-up on likely topics or early comment on pressing issues, from the news side. Briefings were what everybody knows them to be.

In previous administrations, when the President traveled, sometimes the press secretary would hold a gaggle with the press pool that travels on Air Force One - not every time, but sometimes, and always informally. In this administration, Ari does a gaggle on the plane every time the President goes out of town, and a transcript is made available for press corps members who weren't on the plane. These mid-air mini-briefings are the "gaggles" you can find transcripts of on the White House website.

He goes on to note that "Now you have one additional bit of wholly useless information to find space for." Hell, that's practically the definition of blogging....
What could I possibly add?