WHCA Comfortable with Status Quo

The board of the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) met today, and, as reported earlier, they took up the issue of credentialing in the wake of Jeff Gannon.

Knight Ridder’s Ron Hutcheson, the president of the WHCA, said that after discussing the issue amongst the board they adopted a statement that affirmed the association’s desire for the credentialing process to remain open and independent.

“The bottom line is, while we do not consider Gannon a legitimate journalist, we basically consider his appearance in the briefing room part of the price we pay for a system that tilted toward access,” Hutcheson wrote.

Hutcheson said that the board also agreed that while they haven’t seen any evidence of such yet, the association would raise a strong objection to any sign of political bias in the credentialing process.

(Full WHCA statement after the jump.)

Full statement from the WHCA:

“Since 1914, the White House Correspondents’ Association has operated independently of the White House and the White House credentialing process. We intend for the White House Correspondents’ Association to remain independent of that process.

“Consistent with the First Amendment, the White House Correspondents’ Association stands for inclusiveness in the credentialing process so that the White House remains accessible to all journalists. We hope that individual episodes do not obscure the broader principles of a fair and evenhanded credentialing process that serves the goal of free and full exchange of information.”