Will O'reilly Take A Front-row Seat At White House?
The decision by the White House Correspondents Association to grant a front-row seat to Fox News in the White House briefing room suddenly became fraught with controversy Monday when Fox's conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly announced that he intends to occupy that seat on occasion -- and so might other Fox commentators. "I'm a Fox News credentialed guy and I can sit in the front row and believe me when I tell you, that I will be there sometime down the line. And Glenn Beck might be there. Hannity might be there. I mean it." Most news reports had assumed earlier that the seat would be occupied by Fox's daytime correspondents, who generally do not comment on the news. Even CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry said on Monday, "Their White House reporter ... Major Garrett, Mike Emanuel, Wendell Goler, are all solid reporters." The WHCA granted Fox News the front-row seat that previously had been assigned to the Associated Press, which took over the center seat vacated by Helen Thomas after she was forced to retire following her remark that Jewish settlers should get out of Palestine. Informed by the website Mediaite that Fox News was to get a front-row seat at the briefing room, Thomas had a terse reply "Too bad!"