The former president of the White House Correspondents Association says that moving Fox News to the front row was a "travesty of decision," Media Matters' Joe Strupp reports.
Ed Chen, whose term leading the organization ended in June, was Bloomberg News' White House Correspondent before leaving for the NRDC in June.
Bloomberg was the runner-up for the front-row seat, and made a big push (as did, to a lesser extent, NPR) for the seat, vacated when Helen Thomas resigned amid her controversial comments about Israel.
"The vacancy was created because of an ideological conflict," Chen said. "To fill the vacancy with another cloud of ideological conflict was most unfortunate and inappropriate.... 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."
CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry, who was elected president of the WHCA board in July, came out in support of Fox News getting Thomas's seat. In fact, the WHCA gave the Associated Press Thomas's front-row-center seat, and moved Fox News up from the second row to the first, into the AP's prior seat.