The White House has issued new rules requiring reporters to follow new “behavioral standards” if they want to continue attending press briefings, with one conservative outlet already losing its seat in the room.
Beginning July 31, all reporters who wish to renew their “hard passes” allowing them to regularly attend White House press briefings must adhere to the new guidelines.
“The White House expects that all hard pass holders will act in a professional manner while on White House grounds by respecting their colleagues, White House employees, and guests; observing stated restrictions on access to areas of the White House or credentialed events; and not impeding events or briefings on campus,” the White House said in a Friday notice, according to the Washington Post.
Those who repeatedly violate these standards will have their passes suspended or revoked.
Other rules dictate that all hard-pass holders must be “employed full time by an organization principally concerned with news dissemination; must reside in the greater Washington, D.C., area; must have gone to the White House for work at least once during the prior six months; and must hold press credentials for either the Supreme Court, Senate or House,” the Post reported.
Multiple media outlets are expected to lose their spot because of the new rules, including The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas, whose pass will not be renewed when the guidelines go into effect.
The White House is engaged in a blatant act of censorship.
— Rob Bluey (@RobertBluey) July 20, 2023
Founded in 2014, The Daily Signal has become one of the top conservative media outlets, drawing an average of 2.5 million monthly readers, the Washington Examiner reported.
Lucas serves as the outlet’s Chief News Correspondent and Manager of the Investigative Reporting Project. He has held a hard pass since 2009.
“I have covered the Obama and the Trump administrations and have not seen a press purge like this,” Lucas said in response to the news, the Examiner reported.
“It should be concerning to anyone when an administration attempts to select who can and can’t cover it.
“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 non-compliant,” he added.
It’s unclear how many media outlets have been impacted by the new rules. However, Lucas will likely not be the only one to not have his hard pass renewed.
One reporter, Simon Ateba of Today News Africa, may also have his hard pass revoked due to his frequent jousts with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Ateba has been known to interrupt during press briefings when he hasn’t been called upon. This, he has explained, is because he’s rarely given the chance to speak.
Ateba was notified last week that if he fails to comply with the new rules, his hard pass will not be renewed.
We strongly support the important role that members of the press play in covering the White… pic.twitter.com/7EbS9HDpIW
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) July 11, 2023
He has alleged that the new rules were created to target him specifically, but noted that he meets all of the requirements.