Reporter Warns That Biden Admin's New WH Press Rules Are Just the ‘First Step’ in Getting Rid of Reporters They Don’t Like

Craig Bannister | August 21, 2023
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New rules issued by the Biden Administration have ousted a third of reporters who had White House “hard passes” – and that that’s just the beginning of the administration’s efforts to get rid of conservative journalists – The Daily Signal’s Chief News Correspondent Fred Lucas warns in an exclusive interview with CNSNews.

At the start of August, when the new restrictions began, there were 442 (31%) fewer reporters – including Lucas – with hard passes, than there were in May, when the rules were announced. A hard pass allows a report to access White House press events without having go through the lengthy, onerous and subjective process of applying for a “day pass” each time.

“This is the first time, really the only time, that one branch of government requires you to have credentials to cover another branch of government. So, that’s highly unusual, for the White House to put that in,” Lucas explains in his interview with CNSNews.

Lucas, who had been The Signal’s White House reporter, lost his hard pass because he didn’t also have press credentials with either the House, Senate or Supreme Court. Other new rules include requiring a reporter to live in the Washington, D.C. area and allowing the administration to kick out a reporter because it doesn’t like his “conduct.”

“Before that, getting a White House hard pass was a pretty apolitical process, because it was done entirely through the Secret Service,” Lucas told CNSNews:

“Who was in charge of a political side of things did not really matter that much. They said, if you were a journalist and wanted access, and you were with a news organization, you could get into the White House.”

“Now, the White House – the Biden White House – has just completely politicized the process,” Lucas said:

“They put in this whole set of new rules, but it was pretty apparent that they knew that these rules would be targeting certain news outlets.

“And now, we’ve learned that it’s 442 journalists, all together, that have been booted. And, it could be more, actually. A lot of us got a ten-day extension, and that has ended.”

“It does seem like they’re looking to cherry-pick what reporters are able to cover the White House,” Lucas said:

“They’ve looked into what conservative outlets, what requirements are met, and so forth, and then they’ve cherry-picked and aligned and tailored the rules to more affect that. But, they were able to certainly go after smaller outlets and move them out.”

“This is a first step by the Biden White House. This is a first step for getting rid of reporters that they wish weren’t in there,” Lucas warns. “There’s a lot more that they wish were not in there. And so, I think we’re going to see more of this - unless people speak up.”

If it sets a precedent, the ploy could be used by Republican administrations, as well, Lucas notes:

“You don’t want to set any kind of precedent here, where either a Republican president or a Democratic president gets to decide who is covering them.

“That really undermines the principle of the free press.”


“The danger of that is that the press is not going to be able to function in its watchdog role of government.”

What’s more, the Biden Administration’s “professional conduct” requirement is extremely vague and subject to interpretation, Lucas says:

“Like I said, this is probably going to be a first step. I would expect we’re going to see, maybe, more rules on the way and, maybe, more application of this very subjective professional conduct rule.”

“I think that no administration, Republican or Democrat, should be able to choose what media cover them, what media are allowed to ask questions, and so forth,” Lucas concluded:

“Going forward, people do need to be concerned about this as an important free press issue.”