February 21, 2007

Helen's Second Row Seat


Beware the watchdogs.

According to the president of the White House Correspondents Association ( the guy in charge of the seating chart), Helen Thomas has been “very gracious” about moving to the second row of the White House briefing room, and “just terrific” in understanding “the situation” (i.e., the need to stick the cable news folks up front).  Adds an unnamed correspondent with a hand in the decision, Helen ‘will still have a seat in the briefing room,’ and, of course: “(h)er special place in history is secure….”

So Helen Thomas is getting the push.  But it’s not just her peers who are pushing.  It’s this alternately patronizing, then dismissive piece at politico.com.

Either the interviewer called Helen too early in the morning, or he was getting his leg pulled, because Helen, in describing her relocation to “the will of the people,” points to her (front-row craving, cable news) peers as its conduit.  (This, coming right after she compares her move to a forced drink of hemlock.)

And then, after another reference to her graciousness, the interviewer dares to ask if ‘she’ll still come in to occupy a second-row seat.’  (“Of course.”)  As if doing a professional obit, the interviewer also asks Helen to drudge up her proudest moments.  After submitting, Helen interjected: ‘You don’t need my biography.’

The best part of the read however is the reference to Thomas’ book.  Or, more specifically, the cover illustration.

…For poetic justice, a new edition should remove the “Detroit News” and the “Washington Post,” inserting new “Post-It” notes for soon-to-be front-row “CNN” and “Fox News.”

(image: Shepard Sherbell via amazon.com)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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