Paul Farhip, a straight-down-the-middle,, objective reporter for the extremelynon-partisan, ideologicallyunbridled Washington Post, frets about “partisan” news outlet The Daily Signal being part of the White House press corps — quite literally stating that conservatives gaining White House access evinces a slippery slope where “extremist or racist organizations” could do the same.
In an age of partisan media, the lines between “partisan” and “media” can sometimes blur.
Case in point: The pool reporter covering Vice President Pence on Thursday — that is, the reporter who supplied details about Pence’s daily activities as proxy for the rest of the press corps — was an employee of the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank.
In other words, the news that reporters received about the vice president came from a journalist employed by an organization with a vested interest in the direction of White House and federal policy.
The development is unusual; the reporter, Fred Lucas, is the first member of his organization to take on pool reporting duties, which are typically handled on a rotating basis by mainstream news organizations. Lucas also covered Pence as the pooler two weeks ago.
Lucas writes for the Daily Signal, a news and commentary site started nearly three years ago by Heritage, one of Washington’s leading policy shops. The Signal covers issues that are a focus of Heritage’s conservative agenda, such as an Obamacare repeal, tax policy and illegal immigration.
While there were no objections to Lucas’s pool reports on Pence, some journalists suggested the presence of the Signal as a member of the pool crossed a symbolic line, into greater legitimacy for the partisan press.