Monday, August 2, 2010

Poetic Justice - Helen Thomas Vacates - Fox Movin' on Up!

According to "The Hill" today, the press corps has formally decided who gets Helen Thomas' old seat on the front row in the White House press room.  NPR wanted it. Liberal lobbyists pressed their support for NPR. Bloomberg wanted it, but FOX got the seat taking AP's old front row seat when AP shifted over.  The Associated Press moves to the center I suppose in deference to its being a traditional newswire service that's probably as near to expiring as Helen Thomas herself.

We'll all miss the lovable Ms. Thomas who has represented UPI till it was bought by the Reverend Myung Sung Moon. She quit UPI and became a columnist for the Hearst newspaper syndicate. She joined the White House press corps in 1961 when she followed John Kennedy all the way into the White House as a UPI reporter. From there, she put down roots and moved to the center seat by virtue of outliving all the competition. When asked about who should take her place front and center, Thomas said it would be "unfortunate" if Fox News got her old spot.

With Fox burying the competition for news ratings, liberal lobbyists and Journolist hacks calling it a "facist propaganda bureau", I was a bit surprised the press corps voted to move Fox up to the hallowed front row at all.  I can only think of a couple of reasons why they would have voted Fox to the front row.

  1. Their own media organizations are dying and they're hoping they can get a job with Fox like Mike Wallace did.
  2. They are hoping Fox will send Meghan Kelly over to take Helen Thomas' old UPI seat on the front row in case AP sends someone really unpleasant looking to take Helen's spot. That way the back row news boys can watch from behind as Meghan slowly stands up and walks away after the press conferences. 
The Hill got the story a bit wrong.  What happened was this.  Apparently, AP gets Thomas' old center front row seat (they always get the first question at press conferences by tradition - no one is sure why).

The reporters gave Helen Thomas' old front row seat to Fox News.  So AP moves to the center seat Thomas held by dint of long service and Fox moves up to the front, giving its second row seat to NPR. The libs are very unhappy. If Fox sends Meghan Kelly to the White House even just once in a while, however, the male reporters at least are likely to be quite comfortable with the new enhanced Fox presence.

And I promise you, Meghan Kelly will look way less scary when she's 89.
    Whatever happens, with Fox finally acknowledged as one of the big boys, press conferences should be even more fun.

    I'm just sayin' that's all.

    *I actually do hope they send Meghan Kelly. After the smackdown last week of Kirsten Powers, I'd love to see her pitch a few hard balls to the prez!

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