James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Movin’ on up: Fox News gets front row, NPR biggest winner in White House musical chairs

Posted by James McPherson on August 2, 2010

From the “be careful what you ask for” file: Fox News got part of what it sought from the White House Correspondents’ Association, but not what it really wanted–and may actually be sorry for the shift.

Fox, along with NPR and Bloomberg News, wanted the front-row-middle seat in the White House briefing room, long occupied by retired-and-disgraced Helen Thomas. Instead, the Associated Press was shifted to that spot (a logical move) and Fox was moved up to the front row in the former AP spot.

Interestingly enough–despite the misplaced ego-based idea that “the real plum is being in the front row,” and despite the unwarranted happiness of some conservatives (examples here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here) about the shift–Fox probably was better off before the shift; the new seating arrangement will make it easier for Major Garrett, the network’s White House correspondent, to be ignored.

Instead of in the middle, directly behind the very short Thomas (or now, an AP reporter), with the new seating chart Garrett will be in the second seat from the end in the front row–and Fox will have no basis for complaint, since it now has the seat long occupied by the Associated Press and between NBC and CBS.

And the big winner? Ironically, it’s NPR, which moves from near the outside of the third row up to Garrett’s old seat (right next to Bloomberg). That should cheer up the liberal groups who organized protests against the Fox bid to move forward.

The effect on the news of the changes? Sadly, nil.

Here’s the old seating chart; Fox and NPR each will move one row forward and two seats to the left, while AP moves two seats to the right.

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3 Responses to “Movin’ on up: Fox News gets front row, NPR biggest winner in White House musical chairs”

  1. josiah e said

    Wow! Nothing like reporting on the trivial-and-tripe when treason is afoot and incompetence of the media could and should take the front-and-center-stage headlines.

    There’s so much real news out there, this is all you could come up with? What brand of incompetent taught these “reporters” of today anyway?

    Well for tomorrow, how about another fluff piece on Bo, the Obama’s new dog?

    Or, …. in honor of the Obamas favorite group status, maybe the dog’s moniker is actually Beau? Has anyone asked about the spelling? Or about his dog’s sexual orientation?

    Maybe, even Beau has been taking a leak on Wiki ….. or maybe he too, has been graced with “Don’t ask, don’t tell”?

  2. James McPherson said

    Perhaps you should pass your concerns on to Fox News, which (as linked above) highlighted the story today and which–unlike this blog–actually has the word “news” in its title.

    Besides, if people want news, they certainly shouldn’t rely on blogs–though I do provide links to more than 60 news sources on the right side of this page.

    And though I don’t think I’ve never mentioned Bo (and so can’t do “another” piece about him), I do find your concern about his sexual orientation to be revealing. Thanks for the comment.

  3. I pointed it out because this particular White House has been at war with Fox News. Remember Anita Dunn? It was also a unanimous decision by the other members of the White House Press Corps (not corpse as Obama likes to say it). Those on the left claim Fox isn’t a real news organization and this just slaps down that claim even more.

    Liberals have every other alphabet-news media channel (MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN) and the one that leans right is portrayed as ‘not a real news station.’ Got to love that liberal tolerance.

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