Fox News is moving to the front row of the White House Briefing Room, beating out Bloomberg and NPR to take an empty spot occasioned by the retirement of longtime Hearst reporter Helen Thomas. And the AP moved somewhere, too!
Helen Thomas, former chief of the ask-about-Israel-and-Afghanistan-all-the-time bureau at Hearst Newspapers, retired in June after voicing support for Israeli settlements... in Germany and Poland! No, really: Thomas, who is 89 and had been a White House Correspondent since the Eisenhower Administration, said Jews should "get the Hell out of Palestine," which obviously turned into an irritating, depressing, half-assed "scandal" and led to her retirement.
Anyway, Thomas' front-and-center seat in the White House Briefing Room became vacant, and the mysterious White House Correspondents Association held a month-long contest of strength on a hidden Greek isle between NPR, Bloomberg, and Fox News, all of whom wanted the seat. In the end, a mysterious traveler with a scar on this thigh—later revealed to be former AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier—emerged victorious after stringing the royal bow and shooting an arrow through 12 axeheads.
Well, kind of. The AP will take Thomas' old front-and-center seat, mostly because that's what the WHCA voted to do, but partly because of the axe thing, and partly because they usually get the first question at Presidential press briefings, and partly to calm all the liberals down, since... Fox News took the AP's old seat! And Bloomberg and NPR will stay in the back, with the losers.
Also changing spots: Sister publications Politico and American Urban Radio Networks will move to the third row, while The Washington Times moves to the fourth row (same row they had at the mass wedding, am I right?). The Financial Times will get a regular seat, which will be colored pink, and U.S. News & World Report loses its seat, probably due to the conflict of interest of publisher Mort Zuckerman writing Obama's speeches.
So, everyone went home happy, having confirmed the spots from which they will be allowed to write down the things that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says, and every once in a while ask a question that Robert Gibbs will refuse to answer.