(RepublicanInformer.com)- A group of 68 reporters sent a protest letter to press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre last week demanding that the White House stop its prescreening process and reopen large events to all press.
For over a year, the White House has restricted reporter access to large venues like the East Room which were traditionally “open press” events.
The prescreening process is cloaked in mystery, and the White House has refused to enlighten the White House Correspondents’ Association on the criteria used.
In addition to criticizing the lack of transparency in the process, the letter blasts the practice as “restrictive and antithetical to the concept of a free press.” The reporters argue that restricting press access undermines the President’s claim that he is “a defender of the First Amendment.”
The reporters tell Jean-Pierre that the restrictions reinforce the belief of many reporters that the White House is trying to limit access to Biden and bar those who might ask tough questions the White House wants to avoid.
In a smart move, the letter reminds Jean-Pierre that even former President Trump permitted full access to the same events the Biden White House is restricting “without making us fill out a request form prior to admittance.”
Nothing gets under these people’s skin more effectively than invoking Trump’s press availability. That was sure to rankle these guys.
Among those who signed the letter were CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe, Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich, Newsmax’s James Rosen, and former White House reporter Sam Donaldson.
The letter was drafted by Salon White House reporter Brian Karem. The second signature was the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, Steven Portnoy.
Some reporters who signed the letter said they would have preferred quietly communicating with the White House press office to resolve the issue, but over the last year, those attempts had been fruitless.
The Biden White House initiated this prescreening process during COVID restrictions. But the process continued despite the White House lifting restrictions in early June 2021.