No, this is not Helen Thomas’ old seat seat. The Associated Press will get that seat in the middle. However, despite some rumors that the White House Correspondents Association may have been reluctant to put Fox News in the front row, the vote was unanimous:
The White House Correspondents Association voted unanimously Sunday afternoon to move Fox News to the front row of the White House briefing room.
The seating change was prompted by the resignation of veteran UPI reporter Helen Thomas.
According to Ed Henry, the senior White House correspondent for CNN and member of the WHCA board, the Associated Press will move to the front-row middle seat formerly occupied by Thomas.
Fox News will replace the AP in its former seat, also in the front row, and NPR, which lobbied for Thomas’ seat along with Fox and Bloomberg News, will take Fox’s former seat in the second row.
That puts Liz Sidoti in Thomas’ old seat. The AP gets the first question at press conferences, so one tradition will actually eclipse the other. Meanwhile, Fox gets recognized for its reach and its audience, and that’s probably due to the respect Major Garrett has earned from his colleagues in the White House briefing room.
Congratulations to Garrett and Fox News.