April 18, 2007 — Mike McCurry, former press secretary for President Clinton, offered his perspective as a former White House spokesman at a brown-bag lunch hosted by the Shorenstein Center. McCurry qualified his remarks at the outset by stating that “the job has no bearing now” to the position he held more than 10 years ago.
Throughout his talk, McCurry repeatedly emphasized the need for White House communications — which he described as being technologically appropriate for the 19th century — to be reinvented to match the needs of the 21st-century news consumer.
While acknowledging the conventional wisdom about the current bleak state of journalism, McCurry remains a self-described optimist. “My moment of hope,” he said, is that “we are about to see profound and important changes” in the way that the White House communicates with the public.
McCurry said he envisions a future where political communication and reporting will be accurate, authentic, and substantive: in other words, a long way from the spin and “political babble” that dominate contemporary presidential discourse.