On Letterman, Campbell Brown Explains “Off-The-Record Cocktail Parties”

By Brian 

NBC News star and Weekend Today anchor Campbell Brown joined David Letterman on The Late Show last week. Here’s one of the highlights from her appearance:

  CAMPBELL: …There is such limited access with this administration in particular.

And we would try to come up with ways to try to gain some insight into the way these people think about things.

And my best friend, who at the time covered the White House for the Boston Globe, and I came up with this idea where we would have these off-the-record cocktail parties and invite senior officials in the administration, hoping that they would then, you know, basically drink too much and spill…give up the goods.

DAVE: Can you do that? In the world of journalism, is that considered to be ethical.

CAMPBELL: Probably not. But no, but it was just anything to try to get to know these people and understand their thinking.

Because they were so limited with the information they would share with us.

And we actually had great success with it.

We made it women only because we wanted to keep it very small and intimate so that they would be comfortable enough to talk to us.

It was very successful, Brown said — Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, and other “fairly senior people” attended. The only person who turned down an invitation was Condi Rice, “because she said she didn’t like the concept of ‘women only.'”