Pundits and politicians pinned any Washington D.C. drama on Donald Trump for the past four years, but Joe Biden’s White House doesn’t seem to be any better.
Playboy White House correspondent Brian Karem claimed on Friday that the White House Correspondents Association has kicked him out of the press pool, linking the decision to a critical column posted just hours before he was notified of his dismissal
At least Karem can claim consistency, because he continues to find conflict wherever he goes, no matter the political party in charge.
“This morning at 9 a.m. EST my latest column for Playboy posted – one in which I criticized the WHCA for a conflict of interest. At 10:32 a.m. I was informed by the WHCA that my request for membership this year has been declined,” Karem tweeted on Friday. “Guess I won’t go to the dinner this year!”
Karem wrote in the column he’s targeted as the reason the WHCA unceremoniously booted him that the coronavirus restrictions put in place by the organization were “unnecessary” and “reminiscent of the Trump era.”
“The Biden people say they want to demonstrate they are taking the pandemic seriously. But these new restrictions—unnecessary and poorly planned—are reminiscent of the Trump era: They ignore the fact that reporters have done a damn good job of policing themselves. We aren’t getting sick, and we’re taking steps to make sure we don’t,” he wrote. “What hurdles must we overcome for the Biden administration to see that?”
Karem also took issue with the association’s limits on who would be allowed in the press room, pointing out that WHCA leadership does not appear to be subject to the same rules as everyone else.
“The Biden team put the WHCA in charge of determining which of their professional comrades can enter, based on a daily lottery,” Karem explained. “Reporters in the presidential pool, which includes WHCA board members, are now guaranteed access to the briefing room and the president on a regular but reduced basis. Everyone else is shut out with no guaranteed direct access. The only slim hope—extremely slim hope—of getting into the briefing room is by winning the daily lottery to do your job.”
The Correspondents Association has not yet issued a public comment on Karem’s accusation that he’s been unjustly removed from the press pool.