Al Jazeera and BuzzFeed are moving up in the world of White House briefings.
Well, half-way up, anyway.
The news outlets are each getting half seats the briefing room, meaning they will have to share. Location really is everything at these briefings. The closer you are to the front, the more likely you are to get in a question. Al Jazeera gets a half seat in the fifth row while BuzzFeed lands the seventh row. They’ll share their seats with Scripps and the Chicago Sun-Times.
The news was first reported by USA Today.
The Hill, meanwhile, graces the fourth row as opposed to the fifth. The New York Daily News gets the shaft — they’ll move back a row.
The White House Correspondents’ Association board makes the calls.
Asked to react to these outlets getting seats, Paul Brandus, of West Wing Reports, told The Mirror that BuzzFeed was the likely pick and Al Jazeera was controversial.
“BuzzFeed is in many respects more influential than many more established, venerable news organizations,” he said. “It has more clout and impact than USA Today, for example, [read only when you’re staying in a hotel], more than ABC Radio [which doesn’t really exist anymore] and so forth. One day they’ll be further up. Al Jazerra has a global footprint but is largely ignored in the U.S.; a more controversial selection.”
Another White House correspondent was far less impressed.
“Progress, pro-gay/transgender gets half a seat along with Muslim Bro’s TV station,” a White House reporter told The Mirror on condition of anonymity. “Next, Israel TV and Iran TV will share a cubicle.”