State Dept. Briefing Turns Into Verbal Brawl

As far as fights between reporters go, there was a pretty spectacular verbal battle complete with profanity that occurred during a State Department briefing today. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland scolded two reporters as though they were two rednecks at a bar, telling them, “Guys, take it outside, okay?”

As the one hour 11-minute long briefing concluded, one male and one female reporter began shouting at each other. The fight involved the questions the female reporter had asked. The woman: “Don’t talk to me like that!” she snapped at the man. He replied, “Don’t talk to me that way!” She continued, “You just asked the same three questions that I asked! …You think if you asked it a certain way you’d get a different answer?” [Unintelligible response from the man.] She sneered, “Well maybe you can have a separate briefing after.”

Watch the C-SPAN recording of the briefing here and go directly to 45:25 to watch the crucial scene.

(A source tells us the woman is CNN Foreign Affairs reporter Elise Labott, but at this point, with their backs turned, it’s unfortunately not 100 percent clear who the two reporters are. But dear readers, if you know the names of either the bald gentleman with dark glasses or the female in the dark dress, please write us at or to me directly at

Publish date: December 18, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT