Free Press and Administration Transparency? Not with Biden.

By Faye Higbee

Joe Biden has a problem with a) free press and b) transparency. The administration will not be releasing the virtual attendance logs, only the in person attendance logs. Meanwhile, the White House Press Corps, has been socked with a $170 per day fee for Covid Testing.

free press
Screenshot of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

Free Press?

 The White House is imposing a new $170 Covid Testing Fee on reporters who want to access the West Wing, in what critics say is the latest step that constrains press coverage of President Biden.

The Biden administration already imposed sweeping restrictions, including capping at 80 the number of pre-approved journalists who are able to access White House grounds on a given day — each of whom must take a COVID-19 rapid test before 1 p.m…

…The latest restrictions were announced in an on-the-record email from White House Correspondents’ Association President Zeke Miller, who is a reporter for The Associated Press.

“The White House has informed us that it has determined that budgetary constraints limit the government’s ability to provide the daily COVID-19 testing that the White House has required for journalists on campus,” Miller wrote...

…The new fee is likely to have the biggest impact on TV crews, who make up much of the 80-person press contingent allowed every day, and the small handful of print reporters who win a “lottery” to access the White House grounds on a given day.

New York Post

So let’s get this straight- in an administration that wants to destroy the US economy, devastate the US budget with over-the-top spending, and they can’t bother to pay for journalists’ camera personnel? And they restrict the number of press people allowed to enter? That’s a “free press.”

When Trump was President, anyone with a “hard press pass” could enter, and it was “restricted” only by peer pressure. And he was hated by most of them, yet still allowed entry.

Transparency?

Then comes the word today, March 1, that the administration will not be releasing the virtual attendance logs. Several groups have sent a letter to the Biden Administration.

[The Biden administration] “will bring transparency and truth back to the government to share the truth, even when it’s hard to hear. Psaki also told reporters in her first briefing that she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy.”

In recent months, more than a dozen organizations and political transparency groups have been putting pressure on the administration to disclose information relating to its virtual logs and other information.

One such group, called “Open the Government,” sent a letter to the White House in February calling on the administration to “change course and immediately begin preparing virtual visitor logs for public release.”

All visitor logs—whether for in-person visits or the virtual meetings that have replaced them during the pandemic—should be made available online in a searchable, sortable, downloadable database that includes the name and affiliation of each visitor, the date of the visit, the name of the person being visited, and a general description of the reason for the visit.

The Epoch Times

Sure. “Transparency and truth.” They can’t even admit that Biden is a flaming mess mentally, let alone be “transparent.” There are some strong First Amendment issues coming out of the White House these days. Keep your eyes open as it gets worse. Guaranteed it will.

*****

Featured photo: White House press briefing room

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