Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Helen Thomas Goes to the Back of the Bus

Every theater-style seat in the White House briefing room, now closed for renovation, had a brass plaque inscribed with the name of a news organization. Only one, in the middle of the front row, had a name: “HELEN THOMAS,” it said. The unique assigned seat between the chairs for CBS News and ABC News was reserved for the legendary United Press International correspondent who is now a columnist for Hearst Newspapers.

The press corps is scheduled to move from temporary facilities back into the spiffed-up, rewired briefing room in May or June. Thomas, who has been questioning presidents and press secretaries for 46 years, plans to be there. But her front-row seat won’t be. Plans call for her to be moved to the second row to make room for a cable news channel – a sign of Washington’s changing pecking order, and of the new ways that Americans get their news.

Well, I can't help but think that it's more than the "new ways that Americans get their news" that relegated Helen to the back of the pack. I think it has more to do with her biting criticism of this administration and their inability to answer truthfully. In any case, it is a shabby way to treat a remarkable hero of American Journalism. And, yes, after 46 years, I consider the second row the back of the bus.

Politico has it here

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