Despite a last-minute e-mail lobbying campaign from the leftists at MoveOn.org, the White House Correspondents Association has awarded a front-row seat in the White House briefing room to Fox News Channel. Major Garrett gets a better view. John Egerton of Multichannel News reported just before 6 pm:
The board of the White House Correspondents Assocation (WHCA) has decided to move the Associated Press to the front-row center seat in the White House briefing room. It gets the seat that had been held by UPI's Helen Thomas, who retired after her remarks suggesting Jews get out of Palestine were roundly criticized.
Fox, will move up from the second row to AP's front row seat, and NPR will move to Fox's second-row seat next to Bloomberg.
"It was a very difficult decision," said the the association in a statement...
Fox did not get the [Thomas] seat, but it got the upgrade to the front row over Bloomberg and NPR bids. "The board ultimately was persuaded by Fox's length of service and commitment to the White House television pool," said the association.
WHCA board members are Carol Lee, Politico; Michael Scherer, Time Magazine; Julie Mason, DC Examiner; Don Gonyea, NPR and Ed Henry, CNN. Gonyea recused himself from the decision about seating. The changes are effective Aug. 2.
The front-row center seat has not been the first one called in most daily briefings. Press secretaries often start at the ends of the first row.