It’s a long-standing practice for reporters to rise when the president enters the East Room for a news conference, but that hasn’t been the case in the briefing room. I checked with two colleagues who served as senior wire service reporters during the Bush Presidency and who, in matters of press protocol, the rest of us followed.
“The briefing room is always a more informal place,” says Steve Holland of Reuters.
But the principal reason reporters remained in their seats, he said, was not to block the shot of TV cameramen and still photographers in the back of the room who were trying to make a picture of the president’s walk-in.
So, why did they rise out of their seats to greet the One the other day?
When some reporters stood up for President Obama last Friday, they forgot about the needs of their colleagues in the back of the room as well as the less formal atmosphere of the briefing room. Certainly it was a sign of respect for the president, but not one of disrespect for his predecessor.
It was President Obama’s first time at the briefing room lectern since taking office and for some new members of the White House Press, it was their first time seeing a president enter the room as well.
I see that makes it so much better. It wasn't that they were disrespecting Bush. It's that they are so in love with Obama that they couldn't help themselves from rising before their Dear Leader.
As to his other point, he has been in office for over 100 days. How much more time do the newbies need to get used to seeing the President?
They should have just let this go. If they had, the story would have went away. They instead felt the need to explain their tingling feelings they get whenever the One they've been waiting for enters the room.
If they really wanted to put the story to rest forever, they should've found a video where they rose for Bush. The fact that they couldn't speaks volumes.