A new policy enacted by the Biden White House will prevent a prominent conservative news organization from covering the administration without restriction.
The Washington Examiner reported that The Daily Signal, a Heritage Foundation-supported website with 2.5 million monthly readers, will no longer have its daily “hard pass,” a media status symbol and requirement for unrestricted access to the West Wing press room where daily briefings are held.
“I have covered the Obama and the Trump administrations and have not seen a press purge like this, and it should be concerning to anyone when an administration attempts to select who can and can’t cover it,” noted Daily Signal White House Correspondent Fred Lucas.
Rob Bluey, the executive editor of the publication, wrote about it in an article with the forthright title “Biden Boots Daily Signal Reporter From White House Press Briefings.”
President of Heritage Dr. Kevin Roberts tweeted: “The White House is making it harder for reporters to cover the so-called most ‘open and transparent administration in history.’ If this happened under the prior administration, the media would be screaming censorship. Today, there’s not a peep. Shameful.”
The White House is making it harder for reporters to cover the so-called most “open and transparent administration in history.” If this happened under the prior administration, the media would be screaming censorship. Today, there’s not a peep. Shameful. https://t.co/lt4Oxb6cKE
— Kevin Roberts (@KevinRobertsTX) July 18, 2023
The precise media outlets affected by the new regulations have not yet been disclosed, but it is anticipated that many more will lose their credentials. According to the Examiner, Today News Africa White House correspondent Simon Ateba is also expected to lose his pass due to his antagonistic interactions with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Principally concerning is the administration’s plan to require all correspondents to reapply for press credentials. They must now possess a second federal pass, such as a press pass for Congress or the Supreme Court. These additional passes are often unavailable to non-traditional news organizations such as the Daily Signal, which did not meet the requirements under the former regulations.
Shouldn’t every journalist be outraged about this?
Pretty telling if they aren’t. https://t.co/IdDTdBTRaV
— House Judiciary GOP 🇺🇸 (@JudiciaryGOP) July 19, 2023
“The rules also require reporters to behave in a way that some claim bars them from barking out questions or being overly aggressive when stonewalled by officials,” the Examiner noted further.
Similar methods were employed by the Obama White House to bar specific correspondents. Media experts have harshly criticized the Obama-Biden White House’s press practices, claiming that they violate the First Amendment.
“Under the new policy, there is zero transparency from the White House as to how many journalists are losing their hard passes. Moreover, the administration has never articulated a justification for purging media they deem noncompliant,” said Lucas, who has been in possession of a hard pass since 2009, according to the Examiner.
It is presumed that the White House will maintain its previous policy requiring non-passholder reporters to seek permission before covering daily briefings and other events accessible to passholders, but this has not been confirmed.
The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, screamed at reporters earlier this month after they persisted in questioning her about the cocaine discovery.
“You know, there has been some irresponsible reporting about the family. And so I’ve got to call that out here. And I have been very clear. I was clear two days ago when talking about this over and over again as I was being asked the question,” an angry Jean-Pierre said at one point.