One of the big sea changes in the Trump administration for conservative media came at White House press conferences.
President Trump and his people opened up the press conferences from the narrow confines of the White House Correspondents Association and the mainstream media to a range of conservative media. That infuriated the media and the Biden White House is predictably signaling that will come to an end.
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.
“We expect reporters covering the White House to operate in good faith and tell their audience the truth, and this White House will do the same. We are moving forward with that mutual understanding,” said T.J. Ducklo, the deputy White House press secretary. “Organizations or individuals who traffic in conspiracy theories, propaganda and lies to spread disinformation will not be tolerated, and we’ll work with the WHCA to decide how to handle those instances moving forward.”
Democrats and their media define “disinformation” as anything they disagree with. Or anything Republicans say.
Now, under the Trump administration, judges protected the rights of media outlet correspondents to engage in physical confrontations and abusive behavior and still retain the right to access White House press conferences. But somehow I suspect that’s one of those invented rights, like the right not to have Obama’s executive orders overturned, that applies only one way. So don’t expect conservative media to benefit from the same rights that Playboy did.
This also features yet another censorship angle for the political term, “disinformation”.
Beyond censoring conservative media on the internet, the Biden White House is threatening to censor conservative media at press conferences using the claim of “disinformation”.
And something tells me the media will be just fine with it.