WASHINGTON — White House spokesman Larry Speakes suggested Friday that presidential news conferences have "outgrown their usefulness" and defended the Reagan Administration's tight controls on information to the media.
"I don't know a corporation . . . that doesn't try to control the message that goes to the public," Speakes said during a Times Mirror panel discussion on the press and the President. "That's the way the game is played."
Commenting on complaints that reporters have too little access to Reagan, Speakes said: "Many institutions of the press have either outlived or outgrown their usefulness."
As an example, he cited televised news conferences, saying they are dominated by a few reporters from TV networks and big newspapers. He said the Administration has "searched for a better way," trying one-on-one interviews, six-on-one interviews and off-the-record cocktail sessions.