Fox News senior White House correspondent Ed Henry said Friday that when he used to grill George W. Bush press secretaries Dana Perino and the late Tony Snow when he was working for CNN, his colleagues cheered him on in private.
"Then when I was at Fox covering the Obama administration," he told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, "it can get a little bit lonely sometimes" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ingraham asked Henry about the tone in the White House Briefing Room, and if any of his colleagues have told him that he was right about some of these scandals and that they should have been tougher on the administration. He responded:
ED HENRY: Nobody has said anything like that, but what I find most interesting is when I was covering the Bush administration and asking very similar questions of Dana Perino and the late Tony Snow before that, I had a lot of my colleagues in private saying things like, you know, sort of cheering me on. Then when I was at Fox covering the Obama administration, it can get a little bit lonely sometimes.
People don’t necessarily think – and when I say cheer you on in the Bush administration, I didn’t mean necessarily that it was partisan or that they were saying “Let’s go after the administration.” It’s just, when you’re in the front row at the White House Briefing Room, you’re supposed to be challenging authority. Whether it’s Republican, Democrat, Independent you’re supposed to be taking on power asking tough questions. They’re not always going to like those questions, but that’s why we’re there. If you’re not going to ask tough questions, just get the heck out of the way.
And so I do find it interesting now that it does seem like a growing number of people are pressing the administration, and I think that’s healthy. I don’t think that anybody should be attacking the administration. I don’t think anybody should be going overboard. But if we’re going to be sitting there in the Briefing Room, let’s not be a bunch of lemmings. Let’s actually stand up and ask tough questions. If the administration has answers to them, great, move on to the next story. But if their answers keep changing, you better keep asking them the questions over and over.”
Indeed. It's nice to see someone actually doing the job of a journalist rather than the lemming-like performance we get from most in the White House Briefing Room under Obama.