Ex Press Chief: Fox News White House Seat a 'Travesty'
'Ideological baggage has no place at the front'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 25, 2010 3:37 AM CDT
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs gestures during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – The former president of the White House Correspondents Association called the decision to grant Fox News a front-row seat for White House press briefings a muddle-headed "travesty."
"The vacancy was created because of an ideological conflict. To fill the vacancy with another cloud of ideological conflict was most unfortunate and inappropriate," groused Bloomberg's former White House correspondent Ed Chen, whose association term expired this summer. A front-row vacancy was created when UPI reporter Helen Thomas resigned after her controversial comments about Jews and Israel.

"You had Helen go out on this conflict over politics and a question of fairness. You fill the seat with someone who drags in all of this controversy," Chen harrumphed to Media Matters. CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry, who succeeded Chen as head of the correspondents' association, has supported the Fox "promotion" to a front-row seat.