The profile on AP White House correspondent Ben Feller in the May/June issue of the “Penn Stater” provides a terrific behind the scenes look at what life inside the gates is like for White House correspondents. Feller, the reporter who broke the story of Sonya Sotomayor’s selection as President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, is a 1992 graduate of Penn State.
Before working with Feller during my White House days, I dealt with him when he was AP’s national education reporter and I headed up communications at the Department of Education. I always found him to be fair and enjoyable to work with. This profile is must reading for anyone interested in how the press covers the President both inside the White House and on the road.
One update since the story was printed: During a session with the President in the Oval Office, the AP no longer waits to call in alerts until after the President finishes speaking. The AP reporter now emails quotes to a colleague in the AP booth adjacent to the West Wing press briefing room who gets the President’s words out on the wire while he is still speaking.