"Ailes understands," Scherer said in an email on the much-maligned JournoList, "that his job is to build a tribal identity, not a news organization. You can't hurt Fox by saying it gets it wrong . . ." Though Scherer clearly has a bone to pick with the channel, he and Time have vehemently denied claims that he would silence Fox News.
Ironically, according to Politics Daily's Matt Lewis, Scherer "may actually be in a position to hurt Fox" by denying the cable network the front-row seat in the White House briefing room left vacant by Helen Thomas. Scherer sits on the Board of Directors of the White House Correspondents' Association, which controls access to White House press conferences.
Fox is currently the most senior TV network without a front row seat and is contending with Bloomberg for Thomas' old seat. Fox last went after a front-row seat in 2007, but stepped aside for CNN.
Lewis wrote on Wednesday:
Why does this matter? As you may recall, there is a battle taking place to determine which media outlet will get the Thomas seat for White House briefings. Many believe that Fox News should get the seat.
One wonders if Scherer, who holds the 'magazine' seat on the board, will recuse himself from the vote, based on the notion that his past comments imply he cannot fairly help decide this matter.
A seat on the board is powerful. According the the White House Correspondents' Association's website, "A nine-member board of directors, elected by correspondents, addresses access to the chief executive; coverage arrangements; work space arrangements; logistics and costs for press travel to accompany a president on the road."
The WHCA will reportedly make decision by 2 August.