"White House interns forced to fill seats at Bush’s last press conference to make the room seem less empty."
When the White House announced President Bush’s final press conference yesterday, it sent a bulletin to reporters declaring “one correspondent per organization” and “standing room only for non-seat holders.” But as the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank points out, not enough reporters attended for the presser to make it “standing room only”:
Further complicating his last-minute legacy rehabilitation: Nobody seems to be paying attention. The White House had high expectations for yesterday’s final, historic news conference. “ONE CORRESPONDENT PER ORGANIZATION,” proclaimed the bulletin sent to reporters. “STANDING ROOM ONLY FOR NON-SEAT HOLDERS.” But when the appointed hour of 9:15 a.m. arrived, the last two rows in the seven-row briefing room were empty, and a press aide told White House interns to fill those seats.
Steve Benen notes for context that “the rows aren’t especially big — the briefing room isn’t exactly a movie theater. If memory serves there are seven rows of seven seats. Two empty rows in the back suggests only 35 reporters showed up.”