White House Press Corps lashes out at Biden admin over lack of access

'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.'

White House Press Corps lashes out at Biden admin over lack of access
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
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The White House Press Corps has had enough of the Biden administration’s repeated efforts to stonewall journalists from confronting the U.S. President with hard questions and access. 

Unlike President Trump, who was open to speak to journalists without being ushered away by handlers, Joe Biden has been a difficult man to corner, with journalists often ushered away from the president, who becomes a deaf mute when confronted with serious questions regarding the catastrophic state of the economy and his administration’s repeated failures. 

As Americans continue to struggle with prices at the gas pump, the Biden administration has redirected its priorities toward LGBTQ initiatives, Critical Race Theory in the military, and all manner of projects surrounding the Biden administration’s green energy agenda. 

In a public letter to White House Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Corps complained about the “ahistoric” lack of access to the president and revealed for the first time that journalists are being required to fill out request forms to even access areas that previous presidential administrations including the Trump and Obama White House had freely allowed. 

In the letter on Thursday, which was published by the New York Post, the journalists demanded that the White House stop limiting their access. The group made it clear that this was not the first time they had made such a demand. 

“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 began. 

“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 letter continued, adding that some of the restrictions, which were put in place to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, had yet to be rescinded. 

“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 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 letter continued. 

The letter concludes to state that the Press Corps understands that the president and his administration might not always be friendly with them or appreciate the questions they ask, but it is the job of the White House to provide the press with access. 

The Press Corps even notes that President Donald Trump, who was notoriously hostile to various journalists, had given freer access to the press. 

“Let us be candid,” the letter stated. “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. 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 was written by Salon’s Brian Karem and contains the signatures of over 60 members of the Press Corps, including CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich and Kevin Corke, CBS’ Ed O’Keefe, and the White House Press Correspondents Association President Steven Portnoy.

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