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Maybe Our Favorite White House Press Briefing Exchange Ever

Helen siding with Tony, Tony laying the smack down on Kinsolving…it’s all priceless.

From today’s WH Press briefing:

    Lester Kinsolving, [of course]: Okay. Second: Last night, CNN featured the President of the White House Correspondents Association saying of Helen Thomas, “We love her and will take care of her.” But CNN also reported that in order to accommodate one more network on row one, Helen, our senior-to-all colleague, is to be relegated to row two when we move back into the White House press room. And my question: Assuming that CNN is accurate, how can you allow this dean of our corps, senior veteran and undeniably colorful character — (laughter) — to be back-seated, as has been done to her at presidential press conferences? And what does this say about Bush-Snow treatment of senior citizens who wonder how you and the President would allow networks such ageist favoritism over a veteran?

    MS. THOMAS: I swear I didn’t put him up to –

    MR. SNOW: Okay, well let me — this is about a –

    MS. THOMAS: I never could think of his question in a million years.

    MR. SNOW: This is about a thousand-part question, so let me parse it, Les. Number one, of course, we love Helen. Number two, the White House does not make decisions about where people sit, so you can address that to the Correspondents Association. And number three, regardless of the seating arrangement, you’ll still be looking at the back of her head. (Laughter.)

    Q That’s an evasion, Tony. Why do you allow this? Why do you and the President allow this discrimination against a senior citizen who is our senior reporter?

    MS. THOMAS: I don’t need to be defended, thank you very much.

    MR. SNOW: I’m afraid you need to confront Steve Scully in the hallway.

    Q — last Friday, Tony did a great job here at the podium. And also, you were great at the National Press Club.

    MR. SNOW: Well, thank you. Let’s — okay, let’s — yes.

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