Helen Thomas has traditionally occupied the front-row seat in the presidential press conference room.
Not just front row, but front row and center.
Now that the she is gone but before the seat has had time to cool, there is a mad scramble to see who will get that coveted seat.
CNN's Ed Henry says it should go to Fox News.
The main contenders for Ms. Thomas's seat—dead center in the front row—are Bloomberg, the fast-growing financial news outlet, and Fox News Channel, whose parent, News Corp., also owns The Wall Street Journal, which has a second-row seat.
CNN reporter Ed Henry, a board member of the correspondents group, said he backs Fox. "When CNN bid for the front row in 2007, Fox could have challenged it and had a knock-down, drag-out fight like the one we might have this time. But they did the gentlemanly thing and said CNN had more seniority. I've got to honor that commitment."
Why is this so important?
Apparently, if you don't sit in one of the first few rows (there are seven rows of seven seats each) you will barely get called on.
Mr. Gibbs tends to call first on the wire services and television networks in the front row, often allowing them to ask multiple questions in a single briefing. Then he will move on to the newspaper grandees in the second row, and finally, if there is time left, to the mass-media masses farther back.
So there is a pecking order in the press conference room.
But why should an organization that disseminates lies be placed front and center?
Answer: It shouldn't. Fox is lucky they aren't back in the corner, where they belong, standing up, waving helplessly, just hoping to get called on once a month.
I suspect the scramble for Helen Thomas' seat has less to do with the ability to ask more questions and more to do with being on TV more often and getting to be the Alpha Male (or Female, as the case may be).