Trump allowed many more voices on the right into the White House press pool during his presidency than were there before and Biden isn’t happy about it. In fact his administration is reportedly making moves to implement new restrictions on White House press passes in the name of keeping outlets way who spread ‘baseless conspiracy theories’ or something:
POLITICO – Trump showered his allies in the conservative media with VIP treatment, rewarding them with interviews and access, plugging their books and programs, and in some cases seeking their counsel on everything from immigration policy to military airstrikes. But they’re on the outside now — and looking to draw blood from the new administration.
That presents an early set of challenges for the Biden team, which is trying to learn from the Obama years. Back then, it was Fox News firing most of the spitballs at a newly elected Democratic president — personified best by Glenn Beck and his chalkboard. But now, there are a host of outlets looking to occupy that space, from the mainstream right (Sinclair and the Daily Caller) to the conspiratorial fringe (OAN and Gateway Pundit). And that, even for experienced hands like press secretary Jen Psaki, poses new and awkward conundrums for a White House vowing to restore normal relations with a press that has become anything but normal.
White House officials promise a sea change from how the Trump White House interacted with the press. Biden’s team plans to lay out clear criteria for qualifying for a so-called “hard pass” to access the grounds in consultation with the WHCA, officials told POLITICO. If current passholders in the media continue to meet the criteria determined together with the correspondents’ association, they will continue to have hard passes.
White House officials stressed that they won’t take steps to banish pro-Trump voices from the White House. They don’t, for example, anticipate proactively revoking hard passes from journalists who got them under Trump. And they seem keen on not going down the same path the Obama White House did, when it took steps to freeze out Fox, but backed off amid pushback from other networks. But Biden’s aides also promised not to allow outlets to use the briefings to spread baseless conspiracies.
No, of course they aren’t going to banish pro-Trump voices. They will just change the criteria and claim these outlets on the right don’t meet the criteria anymore. I mean, we can’t have the Daily Caller spreading baseless conspiracy theories can we?
And don’t expect other networks to stand up for the Daily Caller and other outlets on the right like they did when Obama tried to banish Fox News. No, silencing the right is the only ‘unity’ the left is interested in pursuing. They don’t want actual unity which requires dialogue and concessions. They prefer to silence their opposition and there’s no better place to start than the White House press pool.