Why Bloomberg News Deserves Helen Thomas's Seat in the White House Press Briefing Room

07/29/2010 05:10 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

When Al Hunt was brought in to be Executive Washington Editor of Bloomberg News, I don't know what fellow media counterparts thought. Was this man past his prime? Could he move from a corner office at the Wall Street Journal into a cubicle and manage an entire bureau of mostly young, motivated, technologically savvy individuals? Well, we surely all know the answer now: a resounding yes.

It would be hard to write this piece without saying that Al didn't teach me a lot about writing op-eds as a visiting professor at the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania, and he was a superb one at that. Our friendship has grown over the years and he has mentored me on certain career moves. But here is the point: As he would say himself, Al Hunt is definitely not the new kid in town, but he sure knows how to rock it.

He has literally grown the Bloomberg Washington Bureau into one of the most credible and formidable bureaus not only in D.C., or nationally, but internationally. The man deserves credit.

So when it comes time to award Helen Thomas' seat -- I hope the White House Correspondents' Association takes this into account. We have enough seniority in Washington with Congress. Don't base the decision solely on seniority; base it on who you think can shake things up the most in the Briefing Room. Give it to Bloomberg News. Look at what Al and his bureau have done in only a few years: see what they can do in the years to come.

David Helfenbein has also posted this blog posting on his site,, under his blog, The Bean Blog.