GOP reporter flap leads to review of credential policy

WASHINGTON: The blogger-fueled ouster of a conservative reporter who attended daily White House press briefings under a fake name has led to a re-examination of the pressroom's credentialing policy.

WASHINGTON: The blogger-fueled ouster of a conservative reporter who attended daily White House press briefings under a fake name has led to a re-examination of the pressroom's credentialing policy.

Members of the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) met with press secretary Scott McClellan last week to discuss the group's role in such revisions. WHCA board member Steve Scully said the goal is "to err on the side of inclusion, rather than exclusion," but acknowledged the need to set standards for who can receive day passes.

"Clearly a line has to be drawn at some point," Scully said. "The big question is where to draw the line, and that's what we have to decide as a board."

The reporter, Jeff Guckert - working under the name Jeff Gannon - attended briefings while writing for Talon News, a website with GOP ties. He was forced to step down after liberal blogs exposed his real name and raised suspicions that he had ties to the White House itself.

WHCA's nine-person board will convene next Monday to discuss the issue, although Scully said no decisions will likely be made then. WHCA currently defers the credentialing issue to the White House, but might soon take a more active role.

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