Joe Biden was all smiles when the White House purged 442 reporters by targeting conservative and independent media

Vice President Joe Biden addresses National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, April 9, 2015. Biden spoke at NDU about U.S. military successes defeating ISIS. (DoD News photo by EJ Hersom) Public Domain via Picryl

White House press briefings have become nothing short of a three-ring circus.

But a growing number of journalists are getting more aggressive in their questioning.

And Joe Biden was all smiles when the White House purged 442 reporters by targeting conservative and independent media.

The number of reporters with access to the White House dropped by 31%. 

There are now 442 fewer reporters allowed as the result of new rules.

Purging the independent journalists

The main reasoning for the new rules seems to be to purge the White House press briefings of independent journalists who have been increasingly tough on Biden.

And so far it looks like that is exactly what has happened.

Among the reporters slated to lose their White House credentials are The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas and Today News Africa’s Simon Ateba, who has become widely known for his tough questioning of White House officials.

Ateba and Lucas, as well as 440 other reporters who no longer have credentials, won’t be able to attend White House press briefings or access the sprawling Pennsylvania Avenue complex.

The White House announced their new rules in May to limit the number of journalists who are eligible for a hard pass. 

The White House didn’t disclose the number of reporters who had a hard pass, but Politico reported that “within the past three months, the number of hard pass holders dropped from 1,417 to 975, with those approved reflecting a mix of renewals and new applications.”

The new rules in the Biden Administration’s May memo require reporters to be employed full time at an organization that disseminates news, live in the Washington, D.C., area, regularly access and cover the White House, submit to a Secret Service investigation, and obtain “accreditation by a press gallery in either the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, or Supreme Court.” 

The new policy also gives Biden’s press team more power to expel journalists who don’t “act in a professional manner.” 

Don’t question me

For example, Ateba regularly sparred with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, which led to articles in the New York TimesWashington Post, and an appearance by Ateba on Tucker Carlson.

Last month, the White House Press Office sent Ateba a warning that he was risking expulsion if he continued to interrupt briefings in violation of the new rules.

In other words, Jean-Pierre warned him not to ask questions they don’t like.

TLucas, who covered the White House during the presidencies of Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden, has watched both the Press Office and White House Correspondents’ Association change during his 14 years on the beat.

And despite doing so during past presidencies, he has noticed that few reporters are standing up to the new White House rules.

According to the Washington Post, even the White House Correspondents’ Association “has taken an officially noncommittal stance.” 

The Daily Signal doesn’t have press credentials to cover Congress or the Supreme Court, even though Lucas has applied for both and continues to await a decision from each institution.

The Biden White House claims that the new rules are meant to enhance security by limiting access.

But not everyone agrees.

A lawyer representing Matthew Anthony Harper, the White House correspondent for InterMountain Christian News, sent the White House a cease-and-desist letter over the new rules.

“The requirement of accreditation by a press gallery in either the U.S. Congress or the Supreme Court appears to be an effort to purge smaller, regional news outlets who cannot afford enough reporters to continually cover both the White House and another branch of government,” Harper’s attorney Paul A. Hoffman wrote.

Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.