The White House Correspondents Association has given the front-row center seat in the White House briefing room to the Associated Press. The seat had previously been held by veteran UPI reporter Helen Thomas, who retired after setting off a sorm with her remark in an off-the-cuff interview that Jewish settlers should get out of Palestine. Fox News, which had also hoped to get the prestigious seat, was moved into AP's front-row seat, while NPR will take Fox's second-row seat. The WHCA's announcement did not indicate whether UPI, a wire service that is a shadow of its former self, will be represented at the briefings at all. Fox had also hoped to land Thomas's seat but ran into opposition from groups that oppose its conservative bent. The liberal group circulated a petition saying that Fox does not "deserve the best seat in the White House briefing room."