For political reporters, the relationship with sources can be a tricky game. Reporters are expected to hold elected officials accountable, but require a certain level of access in order to get any sort of response from them.
CNN’s Ed Henry drew some attention from media observers when he tweeted photos from a barbecue hosted by Vice President Joe Biden. The photos and video, one of which Henry jokingly tagged as “exclusive” showed members of the Washington press corp mingling with Biden and other White House officials.
Henry appeared on NPR’s “On The Media” to discuss the incident:
The notion that we’re working 24/7, holding their feet to fire every single second, and you can’t actually stop to have a conversation or, God forbid, go to the vice president’s house, somehow democracy is compromised – I think people have to look at the whole picture.
And if you look, for example, at what I do on a daily basis with Robert Gibbs in the briefing room at the White House, I hardly think that Robert Gibbs thinks that I give him an easy time or that going to a White House holiday party with the president, which pretty much everyone in the White House press corps and a lot of people from New York and other cities who comment on politics, etc., show up for those parties too, and I hardly think that they’re compromised.
NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen also mentioned Henry in a column examining “the actual ideology of the American press.” Rosen mentions an exchange Henry had with White House press secretary Robert Gibbs last year.