Fox News has been awarded a front row seat in the White House briefing room after the retirement of long-time UPI reporter Helen Thomas. Following a heated battle for the position, the White House Correspondents Association actually gave Thomas' position to the AP's Liz Sidoti — but Fox will take AP's old seat, giving it a berth in the front row for the first time. Liberal groups had championed NPR for the seat, with one claiming that Fox News was a "right-wing propaganda outlet." How did Fox prevail? (Watch a report about Fox News' seat)
It's tribute to Major Garrett: The WHCA's decision to give Fox the vacant front row seat was unanimous, notes Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. While that is recognition of its "reach and its audience," it's also tribute to "the respect [Fox News correspondent] Major Garrett has earned from his colleagues in the White House briefing room." It will be difficult for the White House to diminish Fox now.
"WH Correspondents Association awards Fox News front row seat"
Fox is being rewarded for shouting the loudest: It's hard not to see this as "reward for [Fox's] excellent achievements in propaganda," says John Cole at Balloon Juice. "This isn't about journalism," it's about who is best at glad-handing the Beltway boys who oversee the seating chart. I think it's "obscene to reward them," but "who cares about these people. It isn't like any news has ever been broken in the briefing room."
"Pravda in the front row"
A victory for non-partisanship: After the White House's "ill-advised" battle with Fox News, this is good news, says David Zurawik at the Baltimore Sun. The liberal campaign to appoint NPR "oozed ideology," so it's good the WHCA made its decision "on the basis of non-ideological factors" such as longetivity and its commitment to covering the White House.
"Fox News gets front row White House seat over NPR"