Press Corps to Bush: Quit Hogging the Remote

Reporter asks to watch CNN on Air Force One:

During a briefing led by White House spokesman Scott McClellan as President Bush was traveling to New Orleans, Louisiana, the Washington Post’s Jim VandeHei asked why the White House televisions always seemed to be tuned to Fox News and if it was possible to have them tuned instead to CNN.

“It’s come to my attention that there’s been requests — this is a serious question — to turn these TVs onto a station other than Fox, and that those have been denied,” VandeHei told McClellan, who is soon to be replaced by former Fox anchor and self-described conservative Tony Snow.

It’s really a pretty silly story, but it’s the little things like this that speak to the larger mindset of the White House, and their intolerance of dissenting viewpoints. It’s just another sign of how steeped they are in groupthink.

I am happy to say this incident had a happy ending for the reporter in question though:

McClellan then asked whether VandeHei had tried to have the change made.

“I was told — the quote was, ‘No,’ when I asked for CNN,” the reporter said.

McClellan asked him with whom he had spoken, but VandeHei said he did not know.

“Well, the magic people at the other end of the phone … I was told, ‘We don’t watch CNN here, you can only watch Fox,’ ” VandeHei said.

McClellan said he found the question “quite amusing,” and left to see about making the change.

Eighteen minutes after VandeHei raised the issue, McClellan had resolved it.

“We just called up. They’re going to be changing it, at your all’s request, to the channel that you requested, which is CNN — from the press corps.”

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