The White House Press Corps has blasted “ahistoric” efforts to limit reporters’ access to Joe Biden during briefings, charging that their presence is being unprecedentedly and severely restricted without explanation.
In a joint letter to Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the Corps pointed out that this isn’t the first time complaints have been made about the practice and demanded that access, which was formerly unrestricted under other administrations, be restored.
The White House press corps has finally discovered this may not be the most transparent administration ever https://t.co/Upd6PLsW7D— Kevin Dalton (@KevinForBOS) July 1, 2022
The letter states “We once again respectfully request the Biden administration – without exception-re-open all of the traditional venues for presidential remarks at the White House, including the East Room and the South Court Auditorium, for any reporter admitted to the White House campus.”
The letter further asserts that “The current method of allowing a limited number of reporters into these events is not only restrictive and antithetical to the concept of a free press, but it has been done without any transparent process into how reporters are selected to cover these events.”
“The continued inability of the White House to be candid and transparent about the selection process for reporters attending his remarks undermines President Biden’s credibility when he says he is a defender of the First Amendment,” the letter continues.
It adds that “The incongruity of these restrictions underscores the belief by many reporters that the administration seeks to limit access to the president by anyone outside of the pool, or anyone who might ask a question the administration doesn’t want asked.”
The reporters further note that restrictions brought in under COVID have yet to be rescinded while other pandemic related measures have been dropped.
The Corps also outline that President Trump while openly expressing contempt for the media on a daily basis allowed freer access than the Biden camp, which is now demanding access request forms be filled in by reporters.
“The administration’s continued efforts to limit access to the president cannot be defended. Any notion that space is ‘limited’ is not supported by the fact that every other president before Biden (including Trump) allowed full access to the very same spaces without making us fill out a request form prior to admittance,” the letter notes.
“Let us be candid. Our job is not to be liked, nor is it to be concerned about whether or not you like what we ask. Reporters’ ability to question the most powerful man in our government shouldn’t be discretionary,” they further write.
As we previously reported, White House correspondents are becoming increasingly frustrated by a practice that seemingly limits access of reporters that Biden’s handlers don’t like.
New York Post reporter Steven Nelson implied last month that the White House is actively ‘blacklisting’ correspondents and outlets from events.
Nelson told Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre “For more than a year now the White House press office has been having … press events in the state room, state dining room, the executive office building,” adding that “There’s a process where people are selected and able to go into these presidential events where the president often takes questions.”
“I represent the fourth largest newspaper in the country and I haven’t been selected since November,” Nelson urged, noting that no one has explained how this so called section process for access to Biden actually works.
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