In a unanimous decision, the White House Correspondents Association has given Fox News a front row seat in the White House briefing room. The move fills a vacancy left by former veteran journalist Helen Thomas who sat front and center. In the new arrangement, Fox News will move to the front row seat occupied by the Associated Press and the AP will take Thomas's seat. During the run-up to the decision, the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org lobbied for NPR—not Fox—to acquire the seat. Pundits react to the decision:
- What a Terrible Move, writes liberal John Cole at Balloon Juice: "It’s just obscene to reward them, but as we know, in the beltway, this isn’t about journalism... Who cares about these people. It isn’t like any news has ever been broken in the briefing room."
- Breathe, People, writes the liberal Political Carnival blog: "Let’s be mature about this. They’re just chairs. In a room. With other chairs with people in them. Okay, I hate it too, but what can we do about it other than write it up in snarky posts and tweets?"
- That's a Relief, writes conservative Warner Todd Huston at Publius Forum: "Fox News made its bid, of course, but many assumed that it would never happen. In fact, the leftist group MoveOn.org tried to mount a short-lived campaign to seat NPR there instead of Fox... In any case, kudos to the White House Correspondents Association for proving that they can be fair and balanced… for a change."
- Good Move, writes conservative Doug Powers: "Clearly the White House Correspondents Association respects the ratings strength of Fox News — either that or the WHCA has a 'racist Tea Partier' streak a mile wide."
- Major Garrett, the White House correspondent for Fox News tweeted:
Those of us who will sit in the front owe a debt to Jim Angle, Carl Cameron, Bret Baier and network that supported them.
- Ed Henry, WHCA board member and CNN correspondent tweeted:
It was a vigorous debate internally on the WhCA boars & FOX, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio all made strong bids for front row seat.
- Other Changes Yahoo's Michael Calderone reports: "The Financial Times will now get a regular seat, while U.S News & World Report—a news organization that has been scaled back in recent years—lost its seat. The foreign press pool also now gets its own seat. In addition, Politico and American Urban Radio Networks moved up to the third row. The Washington Times, which has cut back significantly in the past year, moves from the third to fourth row."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.