On August 1, the White House Correspondents Association announced that Fox News—sworn foe of the entrenched mainstream media—will be promoted to the front row in the White House briefing room. The status symbol became available in June when Helen Thomas lost her job for making disparaging remarks about Israel.
Thomas' center seat, the most prized position in the social hierarchy of White House reporters, has been assigned to the Associated Press, which was already elsewhere in the front row. Fox News will move into the old AP seat, from which it can continue to offer a pointed alternative to the elite journalistic establishment.
In the active, drawn-out campaigning for the seat, Fox convinced the association that its "length of service and commitment to the White House television pool" made it more deserving of the honor than the two other leading aspirants, NPR and Bloomberg.