What is going on within the White House Correspondents' Association?
While some can argue they allowed embattled former Hearst Newspapers' columnist Helen Thomas to hold a coveted position in the White House briefing room for far too long after she made some remarks to be considered anti-Semitic, there's some other bizarre stories surfacing. Former Bush administration Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, now a Fox News contributor, detailed an account of what he called a "homeless" reporter credentialed by the WHCA while he was at the White House.
Rove appeared on Fox News Channel's June 7 "America Live" and explained what was going on within this division of the fourth estate. He explained it's very tough for the White House to restrict who has access to the White House briefing room.
"Look a White House, regardless of which party is in control of the White House does not have complete control of who finds themselves in the White House press room," Rove said. "And she's been antagonistic, as you say, to conservatives for many, many years. But that's not the business of the White House to determine whether or not simply because they are antagonistic whether they have a role in the White House. If the Bush White House, for example, had made a move to discipline her or to expel her, there would have been a huge uproar from the White House press corps itself, the White House Correspondents' Association."
And Rove offered up some bizarre evidence as proof of the White House having very little control of the comings and goings of the White House press corps - the admission of what he called a "homeless" woman.
"We had a problem with a woman who I think was mentally ill, who is a minor player on the journalistic scene, who literally, the former chief of staff used to take her for cheeseburgers at McDonald's in order to make sure she was fed," Rove said. "It seemed to be a homeless person and we couldn't get her out of the White House press operation."
And according to Rove, any pushback on a member of the White House press corps would be met with resistance from the members, including Thomas who retired earlier today.
"I mean look, the White House press corps is very, very sensitive about who, about any pressure from the White House to tell them what or what cannot be done inside their little group," Rove said. "And so Helen Thomas I suspect over the years some found themselves in sympathy with what she said. I suspect some found themselves in disagreement, but all of them would ardently defend her right to say what she wanted until this bigoted and anti-Semitic comment, which was probably over the top for the Hearst Corporation as well as some of the White House press corps."