Last week the controversial statements about Israel and Palestine made by veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas led to her abrupt retirement from the press corps after 50 years.

Last week the controversial statements about Israel and Palestine made by veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas led to her abrupt retirement from the press corps after 50 years.

The circumstances surrounding her sad resignation raise some serious issues:

What's the line between opinion and opinion journalism? When does America's unwavering defense of Israel begin to compromise our unwavering defense of free speech? Does our media demonstrate a casual bias against the Arab world and the suffering of the Palestinians?

These are hard questions reporters must be asking themselves in the wake of Thomas' departure, right?

Nope. The other White House reporters are merely trying to get her coveted front-row seat in the press briefing room. Those other questions are bulls---!

Apparently Fox News and Bloomberg will battle it out to move up to the front row. But they're already in the second row. It's a tiny room - it's like a six-inch difference.

Are you afraid you're not going to be able to hear? Are you worried they're going to give the seat to the guy from Afro Digest?

Or, maybe you think if you're up front the president might invite you on stage like Courtney Cox at a Bruce Springsteen concert.

You know, being physically closer to your source doesn't mean you're a better journalist. Is the issue with the White House press corps really how close you are?

I watch a lot of those briefings and it seems like the issue is not so much the seating arrangement, but more the arrangement of the words.

Some sample questions: It's Super Bowl weekend, have you found out anything about the President's plans? How many cigarettes a day do you smoke? What was his reaction the death of Michael Jackson?

A front-row seat isn't the only thing at stake - members of the press corps' prestigious front-row club also get VIP access to the politicians themselves.

As evidence: Vice President Joe Biden's beach boardwalk party with members of the fourth estate. It featured Rahm Emanuel with Super Soakers, Biden playing on the huge inflatable castle thing and a waterslide!

Which reporters jumped at the chance to jump on Biden's bouncy castle? There was David Sanger of The New York Times, CNN's Ed Henry and Wolf Blitzer.

Isn't it fun to see politicians and the people we count on to hold them accountable Super-Soaking each other, fighting over who gets to sit shotgun in the White House briefing room and jockeying for invitations to barbecues? Are you journalists or are you rushing a sorority?

If the public wants reporters to start holding politicians accountable, then I guess the public should start throwing better parties.

Come guys, won't you work for us? We'll build you a ball pit!