Conservative media outlets gain seats in White House briefing room
Conservative media outlets have more official seats in a new White House briefing room seating chart released Friday.
The updated seating chart sees conservative news organizations Newsmax and One America News (OAN), as well as British newspaper The Daily Mail, with designated seats. Newsmax and the Mail have their own spots, while OAN shares a seat.
None of the organizations had a spot under the previous seating chart, adopted in 2015.
The New York Post now shares a seat with the Christian Science Monitor, both organizations that previously held their own seats. The new chart also gives a seat to Westwood One radio, which it did not previously have.
In an email to the White House press corps announcing the seating changes, White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) president Jeff Mason said the WHCA board considered multiple factors in making changes to the previous seating chart.
“The board considered multiple criteria during this decision-making process, including regular briefing attendance and commitment to the White House beat – we did not want scarce real estate going unused,” Mason said.
“We also looked at news outlets’ audiences, both in terms of reach and in terms of preserving (or in some cases adding) diversity in the briefing room. We took stock of the changing landscape of our industry.”
The updated seating arrangement comes as members of the White House press corps continue to deal with a decreased number of on-camera press briefings from press secretary Sean Spicer and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. A number of reporters have criticized the White House press office for the lack of on-camera briefings.
“The White House press secretary is getting to a point where he’s just kind of useless,” CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta said after a briefing earlier this month. “If they’re getting to this point where he’s not going to answer questions or go on camera or have audio, why are we even having these briefings or gaggles in the first place?”