Saturday, March 12, 2005

White House admits first blogger to news briefing: "With an official credential hanging from his neck, a young man stepped into the White House briefing room Monday as perhaps the first blogger to cover the daily press briefings.

"He found the surroundings to be dilapidated and cramped and concluded that his morning at the White House was 'remarkably uneventful.'

"Garrett M. Graff, 23, writes Fishbowl D.C., a Web log about the news media in Washington. He decided to see if he could get a daily pass for a briefing after a recent controversy raised questions about White House access and who is a legitimate reporter.

"Graff said he got his pass after a week of asking. 'The briefing room ought to be an inclusive place,' White House press secretary Scott McClellan said."

"McClellan said Graff was believed to be the first blogger to be credentialed to attend his morning press gathering and his televised briefing later in the day.

"McClellan ran into Graff in the press room in the afternoon and greeted him as 'the mystery man.' The two went up to McClellan's office to chat."

Inside the Veal Pen: "Many of the (numerous) press stories concerning Monday's visit summed up our response by saying we were 'underwhelmed' and 'unimpressed.' Neither word really captures the overall reaction. It was, after all, the White House.

"It's hard not to be impressed by the residence and office of the leader of the free world. It's hard not to feel a little awe sitting in the famous briefing room, beamed daily live around the world, watching Marines in full dress uniform step smartly by outside and mix with Secret Service officers with machine guns and sniper rifles—especially when Marine One landed on the South Lawn to ferry the President away."

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