In March, the Trump White House introduced a sweeping new policy that may severely restrict the access certain members of the media have to official press briefings.
Under the new policy, journalists must have been on the grounds of the White House for at least 90 of the past 180 days, as well as for seven of every 10 workdays.
This new rule may seem innocuous on the surface. But according to the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, it appears to be an attempt to prevent left-wing members of the media from being at any White House press events.
Milbank, who has had a press pass to White House events for the past two decades, was notified on Wednesday that his credentials had been revoked. He wrote an article about this development for the Washington Post, where he said he’s “not looking for pity,” pointing out his inability to be at the White House for health reasons.
He claims that this new requirement will make sure the media will “serve at the pleasure of press secretary Sarah Sanders.” Milbank worries that it will allow Sanders or other staff to revoke press passes “any time they annoy Trump or his aides.”
The White House has not yet made it clear how any journalists could apply for an exemption to this new rule. What appears to be known is that those who are not offered what’s known as a “hard pass” can get a temporary one. However, these temporary passes would require media members to pass a strict clearance process every time they want to gain access to the White House.
The Trump administration has at times been hostile towards reporters who don’t favorably report on the President. Last November, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked the president if he felt he was demonizing immigrants by referring to a caravan of migrants as an “invasion.” When Acosta continued to ask questions, an aide attempted to physically take the microphone away from him. The White House then released a doctored the video of the incident.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later announced that Acosta’s press credentials had been suspended “until further notice.” A federal judge later reinstated his press pass.
Though they have just recently taken effect, it’s not yet clear how many other journalists might be immediately affected by the new rules.
Robert is a native of Santa Monica, CA and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He always keeps his fingers on the pulse of America and is deeply committed to the ideal that every American deserves access to liberty, equality, justice, and opportunity.