Perhaps the White House press corps is beginning to treat press briefings as the non-reality-based affairs that they are. Or perhaps they’re just throwing in the towel on the prospect of bringing readers any more than the latest White House talking point.

Either way, here’s what we’re getting. Exhibit A is two consecutive questions from yesterday’s White House briefing:

Q: The Canadians are going to serve the President Canadian beef for dinner. Is he eating it? (Laughter.)

McClellan: I haven’t seen — no, I understand. I have not seen the menu for the social dinner. But the president looks forward to going there and looks forward to participating in the dinner with Prime Minister Martin. Again, I haven’t seen the menu, so I couldn’t confirm that that’s accurate or not.

Helen, go ahead.

Q: Why are we killing people in Iraq? There are many men, women and children being killed there. I mean, what is the reason we are there, killing people, continuing. It’s outrageous.

McClellan: The reason we are there is the same reason the international community is, is united in helping Iraq — the international community is united in helping Iraq move forward on a free and peaceful and democratic future. …

Perhaps for press and press secretary alike, the White House should just install an inscription above the Briefing Room.

“Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here” comes to mind.

Bryan Keefer

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Bryan Keefer was CJR Daily’s deputy managing editor.