Pravda In the Front Row

I suppose as a reward for their excellent achievements in propaganda, Fox News has been given their deserved prize:

The White House Correspondents Association is moving Fox News up to the front row in the briefing room, according to sources familiar with the process. The WHCA board’s decision was unanimous. [It’s now confirmed; see update below]

Since veteran journalist Helen Thomas retired, three news organizations—Fox News, Bloomberg News, and NPR—have argued that they should move to the front row. Fox News will join the broadcast networks and CNN up front.

However, Fox News will not be taking Thomas’s long-held seat in the center.

The Associated Press moves to the center under the new set-up, with Fox News taking the wire service’s spot in the front row. (The Upshot reported last week on briefing room speculation that this is how the move would play out).

It’s just obscene to reward them, but as we know, in the beltway, this isn’t about journalism. But Mistermix is, I guess, right. Who cares about these people. It isn’t like any news has ever been broken in the briefing room.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

69 replies
  1. 1

    I don’t care where they sit. All are in range of delivering stupid questions on target. It’s like worrying about the pecking order in a Jackal pack.

  2. 2
    Brachiator says:

    I suppose as a reward for their excellent achievements in propaganda, Fox News has been given their deserved reward.

    Jesus H Christ on a Crutch. I wish to God the White House had the balls to say, “Fox, what you do is not news. No seat for you!”

  3. 3
    Alex S. says:

    It’s really just about giving them the feeling of relevance. The press corps doesn’t break any news the White House doesn’t want them to break, and it gets easier and easier to bypass them completely. The only problem is to avoid bad press if you ignore them too much.

  4. 4
    James Gary says:

    Didn’t they have these same kind of meaningless “who-gets-to-sit-nearest-the-king” obsessions with status in Versailles back in the 18th Century? I mean, not like there’s any possible comparison with the present or anything. It’s probably a complete coincidence.

  5. 5
    Allison W. says:

    @Brachiator:

    I thought the WH didn’t have any say in this? isn’t the board independent of the WH?

  6. 6
    eemom says:

    can’t believe they chose Faux over the small bag of human feces.

  7. 7
    Silver says:

    So, the liars being lied to are moving around in their seats? Cool kids at the front?

    What a bunch of fucking dickholes. I hate this fucking country.

  8. 8
    BR says:

    @Allison W.:

    Correct, the WH has no input in these matters.

  9. 9
    fucen tarmal says:

    faux belongs in the uecker seats, they are the politcal news version of his harry doyle character.

    Harry Doyle: Rick Vaughn gets the starting call today. We’re told he matured a lot over the winter. Apparently he’s bathing now. Congratulations, Rick. As you know, Monte, Vaughn’s been working on a couple of new pitches, the Eliminator and the Humilator, to complement his fastball, the Terminator.
    Monte: I heard that.
    Harry Doyle: Dynamite drop-in, Monte. That broadcast school has really paid off.

  10. 10
    PaminBB says:

    I’m waiting to hear (edit – hear, not here) the wingers decry Faux News as just members of the lamestream media in light of this development.

    Three, two, one…..

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    @General Stuck:

    It’s like worrying about the pecking order in a Jackal pack.

    My favorite line of the day.

    Useful on many occasions.

    FTW.

  12. 12
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Brachiator:

    Jesus H Christ on a Crutch. I wish to God the White House had the balls to say, “Fox, what you do is not news.

    They did, and the Beltway took to its collective fainting couch

    The escalating war between the White House and FOX News took an unexpected turn on Tuesday. During a morning press conference, Jake Tapper, White House correspondent for ABC News, challenged the Obama administration’s claim that FOX is “not a news organization.” In surprisingly friendly terms, Tapper referred to the rival network as a “sister” organization. Here’s his row with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:
    Tapper: It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one?

  13. 13
    Brachiator says:

    @Allison W.:

    I thought the WH didn’t have any say in this? isn’t the board independent of the WH?

    Technically, this is true. But I tire of the WH trying to play fair with fools and propagandists. If the WH banned Fox news, I wonder what the board would do.

    Shit, I would go further. I would ban reporters from any newspaper, magazine or TV station owned by Rupert Murdoch. If they objected, I’d say, “Suck on it.”

    Fox News is not journalism by any reasonable standard. I don’t see any reason why anyone should pretend that they are anything other than the worst shills for right wing goons.

    But that’s just me.

    Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one?

    Because they regularly broadcast stuff which is verifiably false?

  14. 14
    khead says:

    OT but couldn’t resist.

    Sarah Palin suggests Jan Brewer is a transvestite.

  15. 15
    maya says:

    A unanimous vote of the press corp, eh? Do Roger and Rupert really need that many extra FOX personalities and are there enough hours in the day to afford each their own FOX show?

  16. 16
    Cermet says:

    If anyone was yet unsure if these press briefs were useless, this proves for even the most stupid (that is, so dumb that the average Fox news reporter has only twenty lower IQ points, and the average fox viewer would only have a thirty-seven point lower score) now has been shown this fact – thank god, the king is dead and the reporter’s bodies are smelling to high hevean.

  17. 17
    Amir_Khalid says:

    As an ex-journo, I simply don’t see why news orgs need to have permanently assigned seats at regular press briefings. A reporter who’s doing his job should be able to give Robert Gibbs (or for that matter Barack Obama) grief from wherever he is sitting. It’s not the seat that empowers a reporter to ask questions; it’s having done his homework, it’s knowing what to ask and how to press for an answer, it’s coming away with the best story. That said, what I’ve seen of American reporters at these briefings hasn’t been impressive. (I say this having stared down that scary-looking dude Steve Ballmer.)

    Seating assignments at the White House daily briefings shouldn’t be about the reporter’s or news org’s prestige. Either they should be given at random every day, or free seating should be allowed.

  18. 18
    K. Grant says:

    @fucen tarmal:

    I don’t know – mayhap we would be better off with snide fictional baseball announcers. Actually, as I think of it, Uecker would be outstanding asking the questions, or better yet, offering commentary on the insipid or foolish questions asked.

    He is just back from heart surgery, so we may want to wait to drop this on him, but this needs to get done.

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    @khead:

    OT but couldn’t resist. Sarah Palin suggests Jan Brewer is a transvestite.

    Funny, but also on topic. I want to know who wrote Palin’s policy paper.

    The former governor said the president and congressional Democrats “are all wet” on plans to allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire. “It’s idiotic to think about increasing taxes at a time like this,” Palin said. She added that her “palm isn’t large enough” to write all her notes down and she proceeded to read prepared notes about tax policy from a sheet of paper.

    It’s clear that Murdoch and others are among the puppet masters behind Palin.

    And yet the Beltway pundits continue to pretend that Fox is “a sister news organization.”

    Now, that takes some cojones.

  20. 20

    I suspect this was the outcome because the sniveling shit courtiers of the WHCA were afraid of what kind of smearing they’d get on FoxNews teevee if they didn’t vote this way.

  21. 21
    Stillwater says:

    @Amir_Khalid: free seating should be allowed.

    This immediately brings up the image of a clown car.
    Or pre-adolescents stage-rushing Justin Beiber.
    Or the Three Stooges.

  22. 22

    @Elizabelle:

    It’s like worrying about the pecking order in a Jackal jack-off pack.

    I think is more accurate.

  23. 23
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @Stillwater: Of course, the result of allowing free seating will depend on what barn the White House correspondents were raised in. FWIW, assigned seating at anyone’s press briefings was utterly alien to my own experience as a journalist.

  24. 24
    Nick says:

    @Amir_Khalid:

    I simply don’t see why news orgs need to have permanently assigned seats at regular press briefings.

    Well, at one time, it was a prestige thing, it showed the respect your colleagues had for you and your organization.

    then again, it probably still is, and journalists really do respect Fox News. Which is sad, but not surprisng.

  25. 25
    AxelFoley says:

    Aw, fuck no, White House! Don’t let those douches have the front row!

  26. 26
    Nick says:

    @Brachiator:

    Technically, this is true. But I tire of the WH trying to play fair with fools and propagandists. If the WH banned Fox news, I wonder what the board would do. Shit, I would go further. I would ban reporters from any newspaper, magazine or TV station owned by Rupert Murdoch. If they objected, I’d say, “Suck on it.”

    Does anyone remember the West Wing episode where C.J. cut the number of chairs in the briefing room so that it was only one reporter per OWNER rather than per OUTLET

    Obviously she had to put everything back, but she made her point. The reporters went ballistic.

  27. 27
    Nick says:

    @AxelFoley: It’s not for them to decide.

  28. 28
    Yutsano says:

    When they start acting like journalists, I’ll start acting like I care how their seating chart is organized. Wake me up when that happens.

    @arguingwithsignposts:We’re gonna need more towels for that.

  29. 29
    Stillwater says:

    @khead: Sarah Palin suggests Jan Brewer is a transvestite.

    This whole thing is silly. Here’s the quote:

    Sarah Palin said Sunday that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has “the cojones” that President Obama “does not have”

    This is like a little game of tattle: these are my cojones, no they’re mine, etc. I mean, if Brewer has the cojones, they are clearly not Obama’s, right? And the jokes on her: those aren’t Obama’s cojones at all!!

    Another question is how she came by them. Ebay? Craigslist? Are they special mint scented cojones, lightly roasted with garlic, and she got a great deal on them? I mean, who hasn’t once in a while wanted to find some cojones?

  30. 30
    Cat Lady says:

    Didn’t they have these same kind of meaningless “who-gets-to-sit-nearest-the-king kool kidz” obsessions with status in Versailles high school back in the 18th Century?

    fixeteth.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    On the bright side, might be a little easier for Gibbs to slip a whoopie cushion onto a front row seat that is off to the side.

    Maybe that will be the WH response to this decision. I’ll check Fox periodically, who will surely devote a whole day any such outrage.

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade PhysioProf:

    I suspect this was the outcome because the sniveling shit courtiers of the WHCA were afraid of what kind of smearing they’d get on FoxNews teevee if they didn’t vote this way.

    They are all just keeping their options open. Amanpour left CNN for ABC after umpteen years. Others have moved in an “intramural” fashion shall we say.
    They don’t want to piss off the deep pocket alternative that keeps their salaries high.

  33. 33
    Stillwater says:

    @Amir_Khalid: Of course, the result of allowing free seating will depend on what barn the White House correspondents were raised in.

    Well, I certainly didn’t intend to demean any particular person in the above comment. Just highlight that the collective behavior is often reminiscent of Romper Room.

  34. 34
    Frank says:

    @Nick:

    Well, at one time, it was a prestige thing, it showed the respect your colleagues had for you and your organization. then again, it probably still is, and journalists really do respect Fox News.

    I can’t think of any DC “journalist” who truly is a journalist. They are all a bunch of highly paid stenographers as shown during the Bush years.

  35. 35
    greyjoy says:

    Let’s think of this another way. You know the saying: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” In that light, putting Fox in the front row makes perfect sense.

  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    @Frank: Wait until the impeachment hearings start. They’ll be turning over every rock to find a story.

  37. 37
    debbie says:

    the uecker seats

    Now, there’s a great memory. Frront row!

  38. 38
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @Stillwater: I didn’t take your comment as demeaning to anyone. I know exactly what you’re talking about.

  39. 39
    DougJ says:

    I don’t think the Fox News White House correspondents are particularly bad, FWIW.

  40. 40
    Professor says:

    @Brachiator: ‘Wet’ was Margaret Thatcher’s term to define Keynesians and ‘Dry’ was used to define Milton Friedman’s followers in her cabinet circa 1980 to 1992. She left the UK with three million people unemployed by the time she left office!

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    @DougJ:

    I don’t think the Fox News White House correspondents are particularly bad, FWIW.

    True. But it’s not just about the correspondent. It’s about the organization behind the correspondent.

  42. 42
    Yutsano says:

    @DougJ: Hell I don’t even know who they are!

    Small side note: on my way out the door at my old job my boss was discussing about how he gets late breaking news stories on the TV (there’s a large plasma visible from the business floor) and he says that he usually turns it on to MSNBC. Well my head boss (who’s a wingnut) always goes to FOX News. So they got into a heated discussion over which channel to watch and the head boss pops off to my immediate supervisor “You must be a Democrat!” My supe had to control himself from laughing, as he is a subject of Her Majesty and cannot vote in our elections so couldn’t give two figs about our political parties. He did try to explain how the British system works to me once, I think my head asploded.

  43. 43
    Stillwater says:

    @DougJ: I don’t think the Fox News White House correspondents are particularly bad, FWIW.

    The last two presidential elections, I went through all the (abc cbs nbc cnn ….) 27 channels of election coverage and finally settled on ….Fox…. as the one with the least amount of bullshit associated with it. They’re not horrible at everything. So you very well might be right about this.

    ETA: The worst one wrt layered bullshit, imo, was msnbc.

  44. 44

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    It’s like worrying about the pecking order in a Jackal jack-off pack.

    I think is more accurate.

    Here’s an idea. Let Helen Thomas’s old seat rotate. Have a drawing where each week two names of members of the WHCA are drawn from a hat. The winner gets to sit in the prestigious Helen Thomas seat that week. The loser of the has to be in the center of a bukkake circle jerk of the rest of the members of the WHCA, and, just in case anyone at the WHCA is confused about the proper etiquette and protocol to handle during a circle jerk (I know, I know) we could bring back Jeff Gannon to show them how things are done.

  45. 45

    @Stillwater:

    @Amir_Khalid: free seating should be allowed.

    This immediately brings up the image of a clown car.
    Or pre-adolescents stage-rushing Justin Beiber.
    Or the Three Stooges.

    Or if we were really lucky a Who concert.

  46. 46
    D-Chance. says:

    Honestly, who cares who is in the fucking front row? It’s not like some hundred-thousand seat stadium where you have to be near the podium to be heard. Geesh, go back to grade school and assign the seats in alphabetical order. They all act like a bunch of children, anyway…

  47. 47
    Fleas correct the era says:

    There’s nothing to worry about.

    If you’ll remember, a $200 an hour escort whose “8 inches, uncut!” were on display at hotmilitarystud.com once tried to pose as press on the strength of having graduated from a two-day, fifty-buck right-wing close-cover-before-striking J-school program. In the hard-nosed, investigative, journalistic culture of the White House Press Room, he lasted only a couple of years before being found out.

    A Fox News propagandist won’t fit in among these sharp-eyed reporters either.

    (Although I still would prefer it if the chair had gone to the Wax Effigy, as this would have on average improved the prevailing ethical standard. But whatever.)

  48. 48
    Honus says:

    As a friend said about Rush Limbaugh’s first appearance on MTP 15 years ago, it lends them credibility they don’t deserve.
    It’s an abomination to replace a real journalist like Helen Thomas with the Fox charlatans.

  49. 49
    hamletta says:

    @Stillwater: The only problem with that analogy is that they’re all Don’t Bees!

  50. 50

    It’s been suggested before, but the entire daily briefing should be a lottery. That room is actually pretty tiny. Make everyone call in first thing in the morning and randomly generate the names of the winning stenographers from a computer. Heck, put it on-line and send out a text message at 7 a.m. Or do it by week, or a couple of days ahead.

    It would make things a heckuva lot more interesting, that’s for sure.

    Because it’s not like Chucky Todd or Major Garrett couldn’t watch the C-Span feed from out on the lawn.

    And, oh, yeah. Their not *their* seats.

  51. 51
    Kyle says:

    @James Gary:

    Didn’t they have these same kind of meaningless “who-gets-to-sit-nearest-the-king” obsessions with status in Versailles back in the 18th Century?

    You beat me to it. I was going to make some comment about catty courtiers at Louis XVI’s Versailles sniping over who has the fanciest powdered wig.

  52. 52
    Brachiator says:

    @James Gary:

    Didn’t they have these same kind of meaningless “who-gets-to-sit-nearest-the-king” obsessions with status in Versailles back in the 18th Century? I mean, not like there’s any possible comparison with the present or anything. It’s probably a complete coincidence.

    Actually, the pointless currying for favor, and that way that courtiers of the press create meaningless indicators of status always reminds me of the wonderfully droll French film, Ridicule (available via amazon and elsewhere), “set in the 18th century at the decadent court of Versailles, where social status can rise and fall based on one’s ability to mete out witty insults and avoid ridicule oneself.”

    Great film, and the subtitles do justice to the examples of wordplay in the French dialog.

  53. 53
    Nick says:

    @Frank: I

    can’t think of any DC “journalist” who truly is a journalist. They are all a bunch of highly paid stenographers as shown during the Bush years.

    not in DC, no, to get there one must abandon true journalism.

    We in the local weeklys try our best though.

  54. 54

    @Nick:

    not in DC, no, to get there one must abandon true journalism.

    Dana Priest comes to mind.

  55. 55
    bkny says:

    payback:

    CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry was elected president of the White House Correspondents Association board Thursday.

    Henry garnered 86.9% of the votes to win the honor.

    The WHCA board is perhaps most in the spotlight at the moment as it will decide which news organization will inherit Helen Thomas’ front row seat in the White House Briefing Room.

    Henry came out in support of Fox News, which is seen as the frontrunner along with Bloomberg News.

    “When CNN bid for the front row in 2007, Fox could have challenged it and had a knock-down, drag-out fight like the one we might have this time,” Henry said. “But they did the gentlemanly thing and said CNN had more seniority. I’ve got to honor that commitment.”

    “BTW @edhenrycnn won the Presidency of the WH Correspondents Assn board ystrdy. Congrats. I already called him ‘Your excellency,'” Fox News White House Correspondent Major Garrett tweeted Friday.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....48871.html

  56. 56
    Gregory says:

    What a revoltin’ development.

    Seriously — disgusting. Just disgusting.

  57. 57
    Frank says:

    @Nick:

    not in DC, no, to get there one must abandon true journalism. We in the local weeklys try our best though.

    Absolutely. In my home town, the media is pretty good actually. A big problem in DC seems to be that the “journalists” want access. However, in order to get access, they can’t write anything bad about the person they want access to. Thus, they turn into stenographers. Your point is spot on.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Waynski says:

    The flies. I just can’t brush’em off.

  60. 60
    A Guest says:

    @Gregory: But remember, JournoList is the real problem with our media.

  61. 61
    A Guest says:

    Lo@Brachiator:love love love that movie. And Judith Godreche is NOM. As is the other female lead.

  62. 62
    Nick says:

    @Frank:

    Absolutely. In my home town, the media is pretty good actually. A big problem in DC seems to be that the “journalists” want access. However, in order to get access, they can’t write anything bad about the person they want access to. Thus, they turn into stenographers. Your point is spot on.

    We have a different relationship. We don’t “want” access, THEY want access, so they play by our rules, which can be dangerous when you have a politically connected publisher looking to help his/her friends.

    But there have been instances where our publisher’s political friends got caught in scandal, and we were sure to cover the story fairly. We just had this instance a few weeks ago.

  63. 63
    Texas Dem says:

    I hate Fox News just as much as the next guy, but the fact remains that all of the other broadcast networks have front row seats, and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to justify denying Fox a front row seat, given its huge ratings and audience reach. Besides, as others have pointed out, their WH coverage isn’t all that terrible, given the competition. And the growing power of the internet will render the WH press corps increasingly irrelevant.

  64. 64
    dnelson says:

    Who is in charge of this country, the d.c. press corp, or the president. It seems like the press is winning this war. I am sick and tired of these old journos. They are all filthy rich, they get too much face time, and are entirely entrenched with each other. No one listens to another. I have had it. I know the grammer police will get after me on this one, but I am done with this group of journos. The president has got to get in their faces. Time for a bully move, or a chest shove. I cannot stay around, it is time for dinner. I hate the dc press corp.

  65. 65
    Shelton Lankford says:

    What? Was Jeff Gannon otherwise engaged?

  66. 66

    […] — Typical and expected Lib Blogger react over at Balloon Juice (more like douche juice), who whines that “Pravda is now on the front row.” He’s […]

  67. 67
    brantl says:

    Can we hope at least that the asshole will be sitting on the far right of the front row?
    Barring that, maybe Gibbs and Obama won’t call on them for about 6 years?

  68. 68
    SPO101 says:

    I want AZ Governor Jan Brewer to show papers to prove she’s a human being. I think it was FOX that did a show on extraterrestrials that live among us, and Governor Brewer does resemble some alien from a B Movie, “Invasion of the Brain Snatchers”, right? I’ve have my suspicions about people like Jan Brewer, Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove because of their lack of human qualities.

    As far as the immigration issue goes… Republicans never made a big deal about immigration enforcement during Bush/Cheney but NOW all conservative hell is breaking loose… even though the Obama Administration is deporting MORE illegal’s than Bush ever did. Maybe we should adopt Ronald Wilson Reagan’s immigration policy (look it up morons)

    And funny how I didn’t hear NOT ONE WORD on the Cable News about AZ Gov. Jan Brewer’s connection with the Corrections Corp of America. Not to mention I could stop this immigration problem with one thing… ARREST ALL THOSE conservative business people WHO ARE HIRING THE ILLEGAL WORKERS! Republican Party = Hypocrisy

    On 7-28-10 I was watching Republicans on Morning Joe (MSNBC) preach about being ADULTS when it comes to our economic meltdown. I say BS! The real ADULTS are trying to demand accountability from those who got us in this financial mess. Republicans want to shift the burden of responsibility on
    American working class, teachers, poor people, unions and immigrants.

    I wonder if the spoiled Silver Spoons on Morning Joe knew how much they hurt Democrats, Progressives, Liberals when they didn’t challenge NJ Gov. Christie. NOW all over the internet the Conservative wacko groupies are swooning all over Christie like he was a rock star. Of course, because of these Republican low grade thought processes, the right wing monkeys now consider American working class, teachers, poor people, unions and immigrants the biggest threat to our economy

    What kind of Americans are stupid enough to believe that decent wages, decent working conditions, enforcing again regulation, reforming our broken financial system and broken healthcare are BAD THINGS! Especially letting all those tax breaks for the rich expire (ten years is enough!) so the rich can again pay their fair share. When the Republicans were running things they started two wars they did not want to finish, set us up for financial system failure and took tax dollars away from grade schools to give BP tax breaks/subsidies (Corporate Welfare). DON’T BELIEVE ME, you rightwing numbskulls, CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELVES! consciousmc.blogspot.com

  69. 69
    Linda says:

    True, gotta admire Palin for saying whatever comes into her mind.

    However, she is now part left-right paradigm of the “establishment”, when she endorsed the two “elites”, John McAmnesty and Rick Perry, (who only postures on illegals, while supporting their in-state tuition and anti- HB1070, not to mention his huge efforts using eminent domain for the NAU Superhighway), she lost all respect, in my book.

    She’s just another political hack, trying to get her “side” fired up…. she dumped her principles when she endorsed the two RINO’s and showed herself to be just another party hack.

    Also, she just up and quit the job she was elected to do. That tells me enough about her. I actually think she is unstable.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] — Typical and expected Lib Blogger react over at Balloon Juice (more like douche juice), who whines that “Pravda is now on the front row.” He’s […]

Comments are closed.