CBS’ Bill Plante Challenges White House Press Secretary over ABC’s Inauguration Night Exclusive

By Chris Ariens 

CBS’s Bill Plante just now at Robert Gibbs’ first White House press briefing, questioned the administration over ABC’s inauguration night exclusive with President Obama…

Plante: How is it transparent when it looks like pay to play when the president gives his only interview on inauguration night to a network that’s paid $2 million for the privilege of exclusive coverage of an event… the Neighborhood Ball?

Gibbs: No interview is decided on by me or anybody else who works for the president based on who might sponsor an activity.

Interestingly, Plante was standing, off to the side, not seated in the front row as most of the broadcast network correspondents are. >Update: CBS’s chief White House correspondent Chip Reid was seated in the front row.

More notes from the briefing coming up in another post, including one CNN anchor’s message to a former CNNer: “Tell him I said hi and I miss him working for CNN…”

> Update: From Chris Cilliza’s Twitter feed: “Plante is a gatekeeper of White House press…he is standing up for how things are done…this will be a constant push/pull”