Stand Back, Folks -- We're Doing Journalism Here.

Greg Sargent informs us that important journalistic organizations are deeply concerned about reporting important news:

Even before the controversy erupted over Helen Thomas' remarks, Fox was locked in a behind-the-scenes "death match" with Bloomberg News over who would next inherit her front-row seat in the White House press room, according to a source close to ongoing discussions over the seat. 

Thomas's perch is enormously prestigious, at least for people in the media biz who care about this kind of thing. Fox and Bloomberg had previously made it known to the White House Correspondents Association that they coveted the seat upon Thomas's retirement.

While neither news org has lobbied for the seat today, out of respect for Thomas, her retirement is likely to re-ignite that "death match" between the two outlets, each of which have seats in the abysmally low class second row.

The next time you find yourself watching one of our esteemed White House correspondents, standing in front of the building so you know they're on the scene, getting the skinny, in the know, delivering the low-down -- which, despite that proximity to power is just another recitation of conventional political wisdom and dime-store advice placed in the mouths of probably fictional "analysis" and "party leaders" ("What the president needs to do now, say analysts, is show he's concerned") -- remind yourself that whether they're in the first row or the second row at the briefing is the kind of thing these people care about.

-- Paul Waldman

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