Tuesday, July 25, 2023

White House Removes Conservative Reporters

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Amidst growing concerns over censorship, the Biden White House is changing its rules on press credentials, potentially forcing conservative reporters out of the briefing room.

According to the new rules, White House reporters must hold a press pass from the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate, or Supreme Court to maintain access to the White House briefing room. 

What's going on?

Be informed, not misled.

Starting next week---July 31--- existing White House “hard passes” will expire, leaving several reporters without access to press briefings. One of them is reporter Fred Lucas, White House correspondent for The Heritage Foundation’s news outlet The Daily Signal. Lucas has held a hard pass since 2009 and has covered both Obama’s and Trump’s presidencies;  Lucas will soon be without a White House press pass.

If you're losing, change the rules.

“The Biden regime will stop at nothing to silence and censor any and all political opponents,” Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., told The Daily Signal in an email Thursday. “No one is immune from Biden’s hatchet jobs, including reporters who dare report the truth.”  

The new rule change has been criticized as a form of censorship and media manipulation. “This is a first step of the Biden administration to oust what they consider noncompliant media from the White House. I have covered the White House under both the Obama and Trump administrations, and there has never been a targeted press purge like this before.” In the past, the process for obtaining access to the White House briefing room was, according to Lucas, “apolitical and decided by the Secret Service,” but “the Biden White House has now politicized the process.”

The Heritage Foundation’s vice president of communications, Rob Bluey, agreed, telling The Washington Stand, “Joe Biden’s White House is engaged in a blatant act of censorship. By arbitrarily changing the rules and making it a prerequisite for reporters to first obtain congressional or Supreme Court credentials, the White House is intentionally banishing reporters like The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas.”

Lucas has applied for credentials for both Congress and the Supreme Court. Still, it’s unclear when he’ll hear whether he can obtain either, as Supreme Court press passes are very limited, and conservative news outlets have struggled to obtain credentials from Congress.  

Some elected officials are voicing strong dissent.

Lucas has held his White House press pass for 14 years, but as of July 31, without one, he will no longer be able to easily enter the White House briefing room. 

More than a few conservatives are upset.

“I urge [House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.] to grant congressional press credentials to The Daily Signal to ensure their presence in the White House continues uninterrupted,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said.

“Mr. Lucas’ tenure at the White House has spanned both Democrat and Republican administrations,” Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., noted.  

“Joe Biden is operating the most opaque operation in presidential history, censoring — either directly or by proxy — anybody that dares ask a difficult question, fact-check their dubious claims, or provide a thought counter to their own,” she said.  

Gaetz said he thinks the “White House is changing its guidelines for maintaining press credentials because the American people are finally realizing the full extent of the Biden crime family’s corruption.” 

Ironically, Gaetz’s comments came the same day Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, released an FBI form that includes mention of an alleged $10 million bribery scheme involving both Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden with the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings.  

According to Hageman, the Biden administration is working to block The Daily Signal’s White House press credentials “for the crime of being conservative.” 

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said the new policy is part of “the Biden administration’s campaign to target free speech,” adding that “If Big Tech won’t censor for them, they’ll push to kick out a conservative member of the press who has covered the past three administrations. That’s liberal logic at its peak.”

Biden has an ally in his quest to silence dissent. We call it the "press." The far-left activist press, and if your views don't align with the leftist views, you're out. You are silenced.

Censorship is not a new idea. 

When private entities conspire with the government to silence opinion, we get the worst of two worlds: the brute force of the state combined with the technology and efficiency of free enterprise.

You will remember, last year, President Biden announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a department that didn’t exist 20 years ago but today spends $52 billion annually—had created a new “Disinformation Governance Board.”

DHS declined to be interviewed by the Associated Press but issued a statement after news broke of the development.

They said: “The spread of disinformation can affect border security, Americans’ safety during disasters, and public trust in our democratic institutions."

A Ministry of Truth?

More than a few of us were thinking of Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four." 

China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, once said, “I have collected all the writings of the Empire and burnt those which were of no use.” Lovers of liberty worldwide have been fighting the arrogance of censors in all the 2,400 years since he uttered that statement.

In the founding of this nation, Founding Father Patrick Henry famously said, "Give me liberty or give me death."

President Biden appears to be acting more like China's first emperor than America's Founding Fathers.

Censorship is generally considered a tool of governments because they have a monopoly on legalized force: "Shut up or else."

What is the freedom of speech?

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is well known for defending Christians in matters of religious free speech.

They have published an excellent article titled "What Is Free Speech?" I strongly encourage you to read it.

One section of the article addresses "Why we must protect our freedom of speech."

Abolishing the freedom of speech and trying to control what people say are the tools of tyrants.

Our Founders valued free speech because they knew the consequences when it was taken away. Many of the first settlers who came to America in the 17th century were escaping England, where the King tried to force them to profess religious beliefs with which they disagreed.

This isn’t just something that happened in the past. Today, in many countries around the world, people are arrested, imprisoned, and even sentenced to death for expressing views with which the government disagrees.

We are truly blessed to live in the United States where we can share our views, regardless of what those views are. We must keep it this way.

Right now, the First Amendment is under threat.

Indeed it is: on college campuses, corporate boardrooms, and social media platforms.


ADF says this:

You may have heard of “cancel culture.” It often references scenarios like this: a person posts something on social media that expresses a certain viewpoint. Those against that viewpoint mob the post, calling for the poster to be humiliated, silenced, and in some cases, even fired from their job. Every once in a while, the poster’s personal information—such as their personal address—will be shared online in an attempt to intimidate that person.

What’s worse is that these “mobs” frequently get their wish. And in many instances, tech companies that run social media platforms censor posts or even suspend users for expressing certain views.

People should not have to fear for their job or personal safety simply because they shared their opinions online. Cancel culture is antithetical to a culture of free speech and debate.

When these forces align themselves with big Leftist government, it becomes a real threat to faith and freedom and liberty. 

Our Founding Fathers inscribed the Liberty Bell with the words "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof" (Leviticus 25:10).  

Instead of hearing the clarion sound of the Liberty Bell across our beloved land today, we're hearing the clanging sound of insanity coming from leadership consumed with the lust for power rather than a thirst for freedom.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Bold. Be Engaged.  Be Prayerful.