At its most recent meeting, board members of the White House Correspondents’ Association generally agreed that the outburst by Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro during President Obama’s immigration policy announcement last month was a breach of decorum but did not to take any formal action against the right-leaning news organization.
The organization’s incoming president, Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry, raised the issue of the Munro incident, according to minutes from the WHCA’s June 29 meeting, which were emailed to WHCA members Tuesday. Henry expressed concern about the breach of decorum but did not consider it the organization’s role to police journalists, according to the minutes. The rest of the board members present apparently agreed. “There was little interest in official censure or action among board members, although all expressed general agreement with Henry’s assessment of the incident,” the minutes said.
The WHCA does not control press access to the White House or the credentialing of members of the White House press corps. It represents the press corps in dealings with the White House over coverage of the President and decides which news outlets may participate in the press pools which provide near round-the-clock coverage of the President’s movements both in DC and while traveling.
Munro was not on pool duty at the time of his outburst, a fact that The Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson highlighted in a note to the board, presumably to head off any effort to remove the outlet from the pool rotation:
The Daily Caller has been part of the in-town pool rotation for more than two years. During that time I’m not aware of any complaints about the behavior or coverage of our reporters while serving in the pool. We understand that the purpose of the pool is to serve the press corps at large, and we take that responsibility seriously. We’re grateful to be part of it.
editor in chief, The Daily Caller
The Daily Caller defended Munro’s comments at the White House at the time, tweeting: “We are very proud of [Munro] for doing his job.”
The minutes of the board meeting also note that that Henry spoke with Carlson about the incident. Carlson declined to discuss the matter further when contacted by TPM. Henry was not immediately available for comment.
Here’s video of Munro during Obama’s remarks:
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com