White House Reveals New Rules To Kick Reporters From Briefings

May 10, 2023

The White House rolled out new guidance that would allow it to expel reporters who do not act "professional" during briefings and events. 

Reporters are expected to meet several standards under the new rules, which were emailed to reporters this week, including listing an address in the Washington, D.C., area, holding additional credentials for the Supreme Court or Congress, and not "impeding events or briefings."

"The White House expects that all hard pass holders will act in a professional manner," the email said. If a reporter acts in a way the press office deems unprofessional, they will receive a "written warning" and possibly face suspension or revocation of their pass, according to the notice. 

The rules come after the Trump administration unsuccessfully attempted to revoke the press passes of CNN reporter Jim Acosta and journalist Brian Karem in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Courts ruled in favor of the journalists because the Trump administration wasn’t acting according to written standards. 

Simon Ateba, reporter for Today News Africa, who has gotten into several spats with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre over her refusal to take questions from him, tweeted that he believes the standards are directed at him. 

"The @WhiteHouse is changing the rules for press hard passes to target me," Ateba tweeted

The guidance comes as Biden faces criticism from media outlets for his lack of press briefings. 

The Washington Post editorial board on Monday called Biden’s rare press availability "not acceptable."

"As he runs for a second term, he should be eager to show he can handle all aspects of the job," the editorial board wrote. "Pick up the microphone, Mr. President. The media is not your enemy."

Biden has held a record low number of press conferences, including zero solo conferences so far this year. The only two he’s held were joint sessions with world leaders. The Post editorial board said "it should not take a visit" from a foreign leader for the president to take questions. 

On Monday, the White House barred the New York Post from a press event with the president. "We are unable to accommodate your credential request to attend the Investing in Airline Accountability Remarks on 5/8," the White House press office told the Post, though footage showed plenty of open chairs at the event.