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Reliable Sources brings word that Fox News’ spot in the White House press room is being challenged once again–this time by Bloomberg News’ Managing Editor, Al Hunt.
Bloomberg (via Hunt) claims–in shades of CNN’s previous reasoning–they’ve been around longer, are more established and “[w]e write about matters financial and non-financial.” Fox News’ Vice President of News and Washington Managing Editor Bill Sammon’s plan relies on a 2007 I.O.U. from the last press room restructuring and the assumption that Bloomberg still covers just finances. The Huffington Post has the full letters here.
There’s no buzz on whether this late Bloomberg bid will work, but at least we have a Fishbowl DC poll. And in case you forget the prime real estate in question, check out WHC Insider’s press room seating chart.
Rounding out an already busy weekend, the Allbritton Brunch on Sunday proved to be the next must-attend event surrounding the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
Held at the Georgetown Mansion of Politico owner and wife, Robert and Elena Allbritton, the posh gathering included stamina-filled notables, such as: WHCA President Ed Chen, Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Senator Scott Brown, T. Boone Pickens, actor Ewan McGregor, and the youthful trio, the Jonas Brothers.
Check out Politico’s take.
As reported by Politico’s Mike Allen, mere days ago White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs met with a delegation from the White House Correspondents’ Association, headed by Ed Chen, WHCA president and Bloomberg News White House correspondent.
Chen asked for the meeting “to clear the air because in my 10-plus years at the White House, rarely have I sensed such a level of anger, which is wide and deep, among members over White House practices and attitude toward the press.”
The two sides spoke on a number of issues including improved press access. Chen told Politico that he felt “very good about the collegial give and take.” Read the full interview from Politico.
Would Chen still feel that way, however, after watching Gibbs’ interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Howard Kurtz? Gibbs admitted he does “wonder at times what it would be like if we turned the cameras off and we could just have a discussion. I sometimes joke that I know when somebody thinks they have a good question, because when I walk in they’ve already got their makeup on.”
Gibbs also lamented the cable “spin cycle” and marveled at Twitter, which he called a “fascinating, fast-moving medium.”
The WH Correspondents Dinner is known for outrageous moments, when a headline comedian roasts the President, who must sit and smile through the jokes. But in 2004, President Bush turned the tables on Jay Leno, giving him a little assist in standing.
It was 2004 and Carl Cannon of National Journal was president of the White House Correspondents Association. National Journal Group Publisher John Fox Sullivan was seated on the dais, with a clear view of President and Laura Bush, and late night talk show host Jay Leno.
Sullivan said, “When it comes time for the president and the first lady to be seated, we all stand up, but Jay Leno was a little slow to rise from his seat. President Bush secretly reached over and goosed Leno, while making a funny sound to startle the comic.”
In a ballroom packed with 2000 reporters, a sitting president grabs an American icon — who is about to tell jokes at the president’s expense! This is what makes the White House Correspondents’ Dinner a must-attend event every year.
“The president looked at Leno with a wonderful jocular smile,” said Sullivan. “Leno burst into laughter. After the speeches people asked what happened. Some thought it looked like Leno tripped.” Sullivan told WHC Insider it was one of the most memorable moments in his 33 years of working in Washington.
Go to the Back Story to watch Leno’s 2004 roast of President Bush, after the president got closer than Leno ever expected.