White House Reporter to Public: Please Don't Watch Me At Work

Ken Herman of Cox Newspapers, quoted in The New York Times today about cameras in the White House briefing room:

"I don’t like them seeing me do my job; I want them to see the end result," he said of the public’s looking over his shoulder in the briefing room. "It’s perfectly possible to be obnoxious and contentious in there and produce an objective print story, but the image is so overwhelmingly negative, and some of our TV brethren are very good at the in-your-face product."

Yes, it’s perfectly possible, it’s just not probable, from my years of analyzing media bias. Terry Moran and David Gregory, for example, are just as biased in the finished product as their belligerent barrages of questioning in press briefings would suggest. And for the life of me I cannot recall a single instance where Helen Thomas has tried to elicit information from Ari Fleischer or Scott McClellan that was relevant to reporting a news story.

I also have a hard time believing that minority leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) or Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would face the same intense questions from the press were congressional news conferences as widely televised as the White House briefings.

[cross-posted to]