Intense interest in the Obama administration has swelled the ranks of the White House press corps. Outlets such as Politico have thrown a basketball team's worth of bodies at the project, and outlets that didn't even exist until recently -- Fivethirtyeight.com, the Huffington Post -- have created their own White House correspondent positions.
Yet too often, the White House briefing room is where news goes to die.
Name a major political story broken by a White House correspondent. A thorough debunking of the Bush case for Iraqi WMD? McClatchy Newspapers' State Department and national security correspondents. Bush's abuse of signing statements? The Boston Globe's legal affairs correspondent. Even Watergate came off The Washington Post's Metro desk.
Here are some stories that reporters working the White House beat have produced in the past few months: Pocket squares are back! The president is popular in Europe. Vegetable garden! Joe Biden occasionally says things he probably regrets. Puppy!