A new rule being imposed by the Biden White House will deny the ability of a key conservative news outlet from being able to cover the administration without restrictions.
The Daily Signal, an online site supported by the Heritage Foundation and boasting 2.5 million monthly readers, will no longer have its daily “hard pass,” which is not only considered a status symbol in media circles but also a necessity for unrestricted access to the West Wing press room, where daily briefings take place, the Washington Examiner reported.
“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.
The news outlet’s executive editor, Rob Bluey, reported on the matter in a bluntly titled story, “Biden Boots Daily Signal Reporter From White House Press Briefings.”
Dr. Kevin Roberts, the president of Heritage, 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.”
Numerous other media outlets are also set to lose their passes due to the new rules, although the specific ones affected have not been disclosed yet. Notably, Simon Ateba, the White House correspondent for Today News Africa, is also expected to lose his pass as a result of his contentious interactions with White House press secretary K arine Jean-Pierre, the Examiner reported.
The main concern arises from the administration’s decision to mandate that all correspondents reapply for passes. Under the new rules, they must also possess another federal pass, like a congressional or Supreme Court press pass. Obtaining these additional passes can be challenging and are often not accessible to non-traditional news outlets such as the Daily Signal, which did not qualify under the previous regulations.
“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.
The Obama White House employed similar tactics to exclude certain reporters. The media experts sharply criticized the Obama-Biden White House for its press policies, arguing that they disregarded the principles of 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.
The outlet added it is presumed that the White House will maintain its previous policy of requiring non-pass-holding reporters to seek approval before entering to cover daily briefings and other events accessible to pass holders, but that isn’t clear yet.
Earlier this month, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre snapped at reporters after they continued pressing her about the discovery of cocaine.
“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.