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Could Fox News inherit Helen Thomas's seat?

It's not impossible!

Here's why: Even before the controversy erupted over Helen Thomas' remarks, Fox was locked in a behind-the-scenes "death match" with Bloomberg News over who would next inherit her front-row seat in the White House press room, according to a source close to ongoing discussions over the seat.

Thomas's perch is enormously prestigious, at least for people in the media biz who care about this kind of thing. Fox and Bloomberg had previously made it known to the White House Correspondents Association that they coveted the seat upon Thomas's retirement.

While neither news org has lobbied for the seat today, out of respect for Thomas, her retirement is likely to re-ignite that "death match" between the two outlets, each of which have seats in the abysmally low class second row.

The WHCA is set to meet later this week to decide the fate of Thomas's seat. Thomas has been frequently absent in recent months, and the WHCA had been turning the empty seat over to whichever reporter was designated that day's print pool reporter. It's very possible the WHCA could continue this policy for the near future.

But eventually, the seat is likely to be handed over to someone, likely either Fox or Bloomberg. And while Thomas's remarks about Jews were obviously beyond the pale, few would disagree that she was a trailblazing journalistic figure who never hesitated to ask pointed questions of Dems and Republicans alike.

For Fox to inherit her seat would be a pretty dispiriting coda to the whole affair. As Andrew Sullivan noted today, why not give it to a blogger, who'd be far more likely to keep up Thomas's legacy of making people of both parties feel uncomfortable at that podium?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  Political media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Helen Thomas is 'retiring'
Next: Yes, people fault the response to the spill. But why?


Give it to Lester Kinsolving - seniority. Ha!

So it's down to Hans Nichols or Major Garrett. The Daily Show sounds like the only winner in this match-up.

Hey, waitaminute... What's Samantha Bee doing?

Posted by: boloboffin1 | June 7, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Does McClatchy have a seat? If not, they would be a very fitting news organization to be granted the seat. It is one of the very few remaining media outfits, still practicing in depth investigating and reporting.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

From what I recall from listening to him years ago on a Philadelphia area talk radio station, Kinsolving is a wingnut, but not one who is reluctant to ask uncomfortable questions of Republican politicians. That reluctance to ask the uncomfortable questions of whoever is in power is too common now.

Posted by: akaoddjob | June 7, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Liam. Give it to McClatchy.

Posted by: akaoddjob | June 7, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The time has come to discuss will the Sea Food harvesting from the gulf waters ever return.

It appears that the chemical oil dispersant that BP has been spreading, does not get rid of the oil, but merely distributes it in smaller drops, below the water surface.

It very well may destroy the marine life food chain in the gulf waters, to a point that it may take centuries to recover, to a level that would even be worth harvesting.

Combine that with vast destruction of the wetlands, which will then sink and erode into the sea, and you may very well be witnessing the eve of destruction for much of the population, especially in New Orleans, and much of the state coastal waters.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

With all dues respect, Greg, I really hope this is the last post on this, except as a minor mention in one of the Roundups.

This is not news in relation to all the stuff going on, well, everywhere.

Primaries tomorrow! How bout that....

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 7, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Liam, let's nationalize BP. They can still operate as a crazily profitable business, but with better safeguards and with profits going directly into the treasury.

Or, better yet, nationalize it and then earmark the profits for infrastructure spending: green jobs and public transport.

Long Live USBP!

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 7, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse


"As Andrew Sullivan noted today, why not give it to a blogger, who'd be far more likely to keep up Thomas's legacy of making people of both parties feel uncomfortable at that podium?"

Well if that is the goal, why not Glenn Beck? He'd almost certainly ask "uncomfortable" questions of both parties.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Slave Sargent:
"As Andrew Sullivan noted today, why not give it to a blogger, who'd be far more likely to keep up Thomas's legacy of making people of both parties feel uncomfortable at that podium?"

Give it to me.

Be honest, isn't making people uncomfortable a job I was BORN to do?

But naaaah, I wouldn't want it. Journalism is for losers and crusading idealists, (who are nothing more than pre-chumped chumps).

Give it to FOX, they're the biggest cable news outlet going.

In fact, that would be the way to apportion the seating chart in that dump.

Whose organization swings the most viewership/readership numbers every six months or so.
(of course that would mean the MSLSD correspondent would be out in the OEOB parking lot wouldn't it? And PBS would be seated in Baltimore).

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse



"Battle of the Network Correspondents"

Run it like "Fear Factor", or one of those Japanese game shows where they actually torture the contestants.

Whichever root-weevil can take the waterboarding the longest wins the plum seat.

I'm seeing Pay per View, here...

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 7, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Bilge, great idea. I assume they'd also get hit in the crotch. I think you're on to something here.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 7, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

They mind as well give it to Newsmax if they are going to give it to Fox.

Both are working for the GOP. Both spread propaganda for the Republicans. Both deal in conspiracy theories and are detached from reality.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 7, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

This is OT, my usual forte, but it may be newsworthy, I'm not 100% sure as I haven't seen confirmation from the folks as theoildrum other than a bit of nervous comments over the weekend. Bill Nelson, who I also know very little about, thinks the well is leaking from the sea bed now.

"The Congressman on the BP Gulf Oil Spill issue, stated he had reports there is oil and gas leaking from the seabed surrounding the BP Macondo well in the Mississippi Canyon sector of the Gulf."

"If Nelson is correct in that assertion, and he is smart enough to not make such assertions lightly, so I think they must be taken at face value, it means the well casing and well bore are compromised and the gig is up on containment pending a completely effective attempt to seal the well from the bottom via successful “relief wells”.

Bmaz comment:

"If Senator Nelson is correct about the breach of fundamental well integrity, the game is close to over for the Gulf of Mexico. We shall see where this goes from Nelson’s initial comment. But make no mistake, Nelson is a careful guy not prone to overt hyperbole, and he clearly understood the ramifications of what he was saying."

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to start a pool on how long it is before WorldNetDaily starts complaining they've been shut out of the running?

Posted by: wiscoman | June 7, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I think that BP is merely a symptom, and not the malady. George W. Bush got it right, when he said that we are addicted to oil, and where ever there are millions of addicts to be found, you will always have pushers rushing in to meet the demand. BP is just a big pusher.

We really are not addicted to Oil, so much as we are addicted to excessive dependence on private automobile ownership.

Modern society is structured in such a way that it is almost impossible to just walk to a local grocery store, and pick up a few items, three or four times a week. The same applies to all other types of shopping.

As recently as 1959 the vast majority of city dwellers did not own their own cars, and kids in the family owning, or even driving a car was almost unheard of.

Accordingly, retail stores came to the people, and not the other way around, as is the case now. Why not try and reduce the need for private ownership of cars. I would gladly fore go mine, since I am retired, if I could just have a few stores within a mile or two, that I could walk too, like I did in 1959, or catch a bus to a business district, without having to wait for half a day. I was able to do that in 1959, and the traffic was always light, so the buses were able to stay on schedule.

Lots of the more big ticket shopping can be done, over the INTERNET, and I do use it for that purpose.

Jobs should also come to where the people have access to bus lines and trains.

Reduce the demand for car ownership, and you will have far less of an energy crisis to contend with.

After all, a car is a banal thing. Have you seen recent Toyota mini van commercial, where the stressed out mom loves it because she can spend so much private time in it, in the driveway of her home. She uses it to get away from her kid, and talk on the cell phone.

As if a bedroom would not allow her to do the same damn thing. She has to own a bedroom on wheels, for her privacy sake.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 7, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca, can you post the URL to the Nelson speculations?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 7, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

All, new thread on the latest polling on Fed govt's handling of the spill:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 7, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Sue, it was over at emptywheel. I haven't seen anything else about it except on Sat. I think one of the ROV's was watching the sea bed and we could see turbulence in the mud and there was some speculation at the oildrum regarding it. ????

Posted by: lmsinca | June 7, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse


"Both deal in conspiracy theories and are detached from reality."

It'll be as if Thomas never left, then!

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 7, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that seat also "at the discretion" of the White House, not just the WHCA?

Posted by: habari2 | June 7, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Al Jazzera would be the natural successor given Thomas political views.

Posted by: Boraxo1 | June 7, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Al Jazzera would be the natural successor given Thomas political views.

Posted by: Boraxo1 | June 7, 2010 4:59 PM

Sorry, Al Jazzera is not part of the villager consensus and hence has no place in the white house press room. They want real journalists like Rich Gannon.

Posted by: srw3 | June 7, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Who are presently seated in the esteemed "front row"?

Posted by: hadassahweinreb | June 7, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I vote for esteemed blogger-journalist Meghan McCain - after all, 47% of the country wanted her to be in White House.

Posted by: superteemu | June 8, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

FAUX News in the front row? That would be fitting given the feckless reaction Gibbs and the Obama Admin. For those bashing Helen Thomas remember that hers' was the LONE voice of sanity in the WH Press Corp during the GW Bush Admin when she was allowed to speak; her's was the only voice to challenge war with no end, torture, fixing of intelligence, warrantless wiretapping, on and on.

History will been kind to Helen Thomas.

Posted by: GotKids1 | June 8, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I nominate Andrew Sullivan so he can ask the first question... which for the nutcase he is would be
"Mr. Gibbs... is it true that Barack Obama is the real father to Sarah Palin's child... I have it on good authority from an alien who landed in my back yard and told me that Barack Obama was the ONE." Also, I have a follow up question...
"Mr. Gibbs... can I call you Robert?... can we go around behind the curtain and teabag each other?"

Posted by: philipjames1 | June 8, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

"Does McClatchy have a seat? If not, they would be a very fitting news organization to be granted the seat. It is one of the very few remaining media outfits, still practicing in depth investigating and reporting."

LOL! McClatchy is typical lying leftist swine.

Posted by: Azarkhan | June 8, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

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