In a shocking escalation by the White House to suppress information to the American people, the White House has denied access to some of the press media, which they apparently do not like.
Dr. Anthony Harper, a White House correspondent, has said for months that the move by the Biden administration to limit access to the media is for the purpose of suppressing dissent. Harper reports on antisemitism and other concerns of religious Americans for his outlet, InterMountain News and his news is often not favorable to Joe Biden.
For example, Harper wrote, “In light of President Biden developing a task force on combating anti-Semitism, President Biden has placed an anti-Semitic organization C.A.I.R. on his combating anti-Semitism task force.
How can Biden be combating anti-Semitism when he has C.A.I.R. involved, or supporting a deal with Iran, or not condemning the desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Vilnius, Lithuania (SaveVilna.org), or not condemning BDS, or not condemning the division of Israel with a Palestinian state and funding anti-Semitic organizations such as the Palestinian Authority and U.N. agencies UNRWA as well as UNESCO?”
Harper appeared on OANN recently and slammed Biden:
Christian reporter who covers the White House says the Biden Administration “has forgotten God”. Dr. Anthony Harper says this administration has censored him and refuses to take questions from him. https://t.co/2awOnQxAbv pic.twitter.com/wp97V1ozz7
— Stella Escobedo (@StellaEscoTV) March 10, 2023
And now Harper has been denied his long-held hard pass, and it sounds like Biden has a preference about who gets to cover the news.
Since the beginning of 2023, the number of reporters who have access to the White House for press conferences has dropped by over 30%, so there are now 442 fewer reporters with a “hard pass”.
A hard pass means a reporter has an assigned seat, which gives them quick and easy access to press meetings and media resources.
The White House announced their new rules for media access in May that would kick so many journalists out of the meetings, and those alarming new rules took effect just days ago.
Media reports are surfacing from some of the exiled reporters about their frustration and their experience with the White House Press Secretary.
The Daily Signal reported on the details of the changes, this week about what they feel is an extremally unfair situation and a further grab for control over the official narrative, which is something to take note of this campaign season where Biden is taking such a hammering from some of the very media who were removed from the process of covering the White House.
According to the Daily Signal, ” Fred Lucas was among the reporters slated to lose his White House press credentials, although he was given a 10-day extension “to submit the required materials.” The White House now requires reporters to obtain press credentials from Congress or the Supreme Court to fulfill its new requirement; Lucas is currently awaiting a decision on his applications to the other branches,” adding more:
Politico’s West Wing Playbook first reported the numbers Wednesday along with news that Simon Ateba, the White House correspondent for Today News Africa, lost his hard pass. Ateba, along with the other 441 reporters who no longer have credentials, won’t be able to attend White House press briefings or access the sprawling Pennsylvania Avenue campus unless they obtain what’s called a temporary day pass.
Up until this week, the White House didn’t disclose the number of reporters who had a hard pass. Politico reported, “Within the past three months, the number of hard pass holders dropped from 1,417 to 975, with those approved reflecting a mix of renewals and new applications.”
And one reporter is pushing back with a lawsuit, according to RedState, who reported on the details of Cameroonian journalist Simon Ateba, the White House correspondent for Today News Africa who is not accepting the move by the Biden administration- quietly:
Jean-Pierre had Ateba removed from the briefing room for asking uncomfortable questions in March. He turned to social media, and his story went viral, making him a celebrity almost overnight.
According to RedState: “His ousting earned him an immediate appearance on former Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s number-one show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Now, Ateba says, his access via a “hard pass,” guaranteeing him the ability to cover the White House, was among hundreds of others recently scrapped by the Biden Administration—essentially keeping him from fulfilling his role as a journalist. On Thursday, he announced the filing of a First Amendment suit against both the White House and Jean-Pierre.
While sharing a tweet by the legal nonprofit group Center for American Liberty (CAL) announcing its lawsuit on his behalf, Ateba writes:
After years of discrimination and targeting, I just filed my First Amendment Rights lawsuit against @whitehouse and the @PressSec Karine Jean-Pierre.
In the video, he explains why he filed the lawsuit:
As you know, a few days ago, the White House deactivated 442 hard passes, making it difficult for journalists to cover President Biden. Unfortunately, my hard pass was among them.
As a result, it’s difficult for me to access the White House. I was simply doing my job, for asking the right questions, for asking the tough questions.
He continues, giving a full-throated defense of the First Amendment and the freedoms it protects for the press—and a chilling warning about what journalists being denied those rights could mean for all Americans:
Without freedom of the press, there cannot be freedom. Without freedom of the press, there cannot be a free and fair election.
The message from CAL in support of his suit states:
We won’t stand for the White House targeting journalists for asking the tough questions. #SimonSays join us in fighting for freedom of the press!
Ateba told Carlson during his interview that it’s as simple as this, with this White House: “….[W]hen you do the right thing, when you ask the right question, they try to silence you, they try to censor you.”
The full complaint filing from CAL is here; you can also read the motion for preliminary injunction filing here.
You can watch the full announcement from Ateba in the video below:
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) August 10, 2023