The New York Post reported on Monday that the White House press office denied the newspaper access to President Biden’s public event earlier in the day, coinciding with the potential indictment of Hunter Biden on tax fraud and other criminal charges.
The Post has been diligently investigating Joe Biden’s connections to his family’s global business affairs, particularly Hunter’s laptop revealing links to China and Ukraine.
In the absence of an explanation for the exclusion, concerns have grown over the White House press office’s selective screening of reporters attending presidential events, a practice that began in 2022. Despite 73 journalists signing a letter last June demanding an end to the prescreening process, the limitations persist, with press officials refraining from clarifying the selection criteria to the White House Correspondents’ Association.
The newspaper’s exclusion comes amid its extensive coverage of President Biden’s involvement in his son’s business deals, particularly in China and Ukraine. The anticipated indictment of Hunter Biden has intensified the Post’s focus on these connections.
Calls for increased transparency from the Biden administration regarding its press relations have grown louder, with the ongoing exclusion of media outlets like the New York Post raising questions about the administration’s commitment to openness and the role of a free press in democracy.
The Post’s exclusion could prompt further examination and demands for change, with journalists, politicians, and the public awaiting the administration’s response and the outcome of Hunter Biden’s potential indictment. The incident highlights the ongoing challenges facing the media in holding those in power accountable and underscores the significance of press freedom and journalistic integrity in a democratic society.
In a related development, US-based journalist Simon Ateba claims the White House is altering press hard pass rules to target him. Ateba meets all requirements but alleges that the rule changes are designed to affect him specifically.
The revised policy on press hard passes requires journalists to meet new criteria for renewals. While current passes will expire on July 31, new requirements include full-time employment with a news organization, a physical address in the greater Washington, D.C. area, White House campus access in the previous six months, and accreditation by a press gallery. Additionally, journalists must submit to any necessary U.S. Secret Service investigation for White House complex eligibility.