The New York Times questioned the propriety of a conservative journalist who was selected to serve as the White House pool reporter because of his position with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
On Wednesday, that position was filled by Robert Bluey, the vice president of communications at Heritage. Bluey is also the executive editor of its online news site, The Daily Signal, whose job was to report on his activities of the day and provide the White House Press Corps with a first cut of any news of the day while accompanying Vice President Mike Pence at a “Faith in America” event in Clearwater, Florida.
The Times’ Annie Karni didn’t find anything wrong with Bluey’s filings but was rankled by the fact that he worked for Heritage and was not a member of the press corps.
“But Mr. Bluey, a communications professional, is not listed as a reporter, and he does not cover the White House. In an email on Wednesday, Mr. Bluey said he started working in journalism in 1996 and helped create The Daily Signal in 2014. The site had been part of the White House Correspondents’ Association since 2016, he said.”
“There was nothing openly partisan about Mr. Bluey’s pool reports on Wednesday, which consisted mostly of quotes from Mr. Pence’s speech and brief observations about how an enthusiastic crowd responded.”
“But how Mr. Bluey ended up on Air Force Two on Wednesday is as much a story about covering the Trump administration during the pandemic as it is about partisanship in the news media. There is often a clamor to cover the Trump show and travel aboard Air Force One, where the president often walks to the back of the plane and sometimes breaks news to the small group of reporters traveling with him.”
Bluey has spent his entire career in journalism working for Human Events, where he created the “Bloggers Briefing,” a weekly event for conservative journalists and activists to hear from a number of newsmakers. Bluey continued to run the Briefing when he joined Heritage and has always maintained high standards of honesty and integrity in his writing.
Photo by Ninian Reid