A progressive group called CREDO Action is trying to persuade the White House Correspondents’ Association that Fox News is not a legitimate news organization and should not get former White House scribe Helen Thomas‘s front row seat. The board meets Sunday to decide.

Becky Bond, the group’s political director, wrote a scathing letter to members of the WHCA board – they want NPR to get the seat. Bond says that 189,000 people have signed a position saying that “Fox News is a right-wing propaganda operation.”

But Washington Examiner‘s White House correspondent Julie Mason, a WHCA board member, wasn’t impressed. “Smearing our colleagues like this isn’t terribly persuasive,” Mason told FishbowlDC. “The reporters, producers and photographers from Fox News assigned to the White House are some of the best and well-respected in the business. Bloomberg, Fox and NPR made strong cases for moving up in the briefing room, I’m sure the board will have a good debate.”

FishbowlDC has reached out to Fox News PR on this matter. Should we get a response we’ll bring it to you.

Read the anti-Fox News letter after the jump…
(And find out more on CREDO Action – as in, what is it?)


Letter to WHCA Board Members:

Dear [WHCA Board Member],

Yesterday, CREDO Action alerted our membership about the upcoming meeting of the White House Correspondents Association at which your organization will select a news outlet to occupy the front row seat recently vacated by Helen Thomas.

In the last 36 hours, 189,000 people have signed a petition to the White House Correspondents Association that reads:

“FOX News is a right-wing propaganda operation, not a legitimate news organization. Award the seat vacated by Helen Thomas to NPR, which has provided public interest coverage of the presidency and the White House for almost four decades.”

I wanted to let you know that we have overnighted for Friday morning delivery copies of our petition to the officers of the WHCA board, including David Jackson of USA TODAY, Caren Bohan of Reuters, Steve Scully of C-SPAN, Doug Mills of the New York Times, along with executive director Julia Whitson.

We understand that a number of organizations are vying for this front row seat including FOX News, Bloomberg News and NPR.

FOX News is not a legitimate news organization. It produces conservative propaganda under the guise of news, and has been instrumental in the organization of the Tea Party movement. If we look at recent weeks alone, FOX has been involved in race-baiting smear campaigns targeting Shirley Sherrod and the Department of Justice that were planted by right-wing operatives. This is not the work of a news organization. This is right-wing propaganda.

NPR has been providing public interest coverage of the presidency and the White House for almost four decades. NPR clearly deserves to sit in the front row of the White House press briefing room. FOX does not.

Thousands more people are signing every hour. Literally the petition signatures are coming in faster than we can print them. If you’d like to read the petition online, you can find it here: http://www.credoaction.com/nprnotfox

We will send WHCA board officers and executive director Julia Whitson updates on our progress leading up to the vote on Sunday. But I wanted to alert you of the growing public sentiment opposing putting a FOX News reporter in the best seat in the White House press briefing room.

If you have any questions about our campaign, don’t hesitate to email me at bbond@credomobile.com or contact me by phone at 415.595.0040.

Sincerely,
Becky Bond
Political Director, CREDO Action

What’s CREDO Action?: Credo Action, run by Working Assets, is a mobile, credit card and long distance company. Their mission: “Raise money for nonprofits when customers use our services – over $65 million to date.” They “raise voices through calls, letters, e-mails and text messages on key political issues of the day.”