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Don’t Make The People’s House Into a Press-Free Zone

Though many reporters have been terribly slanted and in some cases outright hostile to everyone in the Trump White House, the White House--The People's House--should not be a press-free zone.Apparently, the Trump administration believes it should be. That's a very poor precedent, and will make for a terrible day when a Democrat inhabits the White House, and Fox News finds itself locked out.

The White House revoked Washington Post White House reporter Dana Milbank’s “hard pass.” Actually, they revoked just about every White House correspondent’s pass, then issued selective “exception” passes. The exceptions were given to hand-picked journalists.

I am not a huge fan of Milbank’s. I’m not a fan of Jim Acosta’s brand of activist journalism and bloviating for the cameras in the White House. But I think that the Trump administration has gone too far to shoehorn itself into a situation where the requirements for a “hard pass” credential are basically impossible for many reporters to meet.

Further, there is a corps of freelancers and correspondents who show up as needed: camera operators, technical people, and junior reporters who can work holidays and other times when the “senior” people are with family.

The White House said it would grant exceptions for “senior journalists” who are “consistently engaged in covering the White House” and for those with “special circumstances.” Though the culling properly eliminated some (including at The Post) who no longer needed credentials, the victims hurt most were freelance camera operators and technicians who now could lose their livelihood.

Though many reporters have been terribly slanted and in some cases outright hostile to everyone in the Trump White House, the White House–The People’s House–should not be a press-free zone.

Apparently, the Trump administration believes it should be. That’s a very poor precedent, and will make for a terrible day when a Democrat inhabits the White House, and Fox News finds itself locked out.

I hope Press Secretary Sarah Sanders rescinds this awful policy.

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