Thursday, June 17, 2010

Journos Grapple Over Best Seat in the (White) House

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 12:  (L-R) Veteran White...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
White House correspondents seem to take in stride the dearth of presidential press conferences, the administration's recalcitrance in producing White House visitor logs, and their own increasing irrelevance, but now the American public knows what gets the dander up of the creme de la creme of the Fourth Estate--Who gets to sit in former UPI icon Helen Thomas' front row seat?

Since the 89-year-old Thomas' ill-conceived remarks about Israel's Gaza presence prompted her resignation, a battle royale is taking shape between Fox News and Bloomberg News over which organization will occupy the front row, center seat from which Thomas signaled the end of press conferences by bleating: "Thank you, Mr. President," seemingly dating back to the Polk Administration.

Traditionally, the seat has been occupied by a reporter from the wire services, but Bloomberg Executive Editor Al Hunt and Fox News Washington Managing Editor Bill Sammons each has fired off a letter to the White House Press Correspondents Association ("WHPCA") outlining why his organization deserves the coveted chair. A verdict is expected sometime after July 16 when new WHPCA board members assume office.

Some unsolicited observations from   "TUOL"'s editorial team. Initially, we wonder what the commotion is all about, unless, because of Thomas' advanced years, she sat in an ergonomically perfect orthopedic chair that is more comfortable than the rest of the briefing room furniture. Seniority and tradition have fallen by the wayside, as has the influence of ink-stained wretches, because no one is dusting off the seat for any major metropolitan daily newspaper reporter, perhaps out of concern that a print journalist  might rent out the seat to offset sagging ad revenues.

"TUOL" believes Thomas' seat should be filled by a blogger, who would be required to attend all briefings dressed in pajamas. Alternatively, the seat could be occupied by a White House plant (of the two-legged variety) along the lines of the faux journalist/gay escort employed by the Bush Administration to lob softball questions to W. that he still somehow managed to swing at and miss.

Another possible solution--give each of the watchdogs of democracy a "barka-lounger" of his or her very own.

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1 comment:

  1. You offer clever, funny, and sadly appropriate potential solutions. But at least your White House still has press conferences; our Canadian Prime Minister and his thuggish press secretary have castrated our entire Canadian press corps.