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 July 20, 2023

White House revokes The Daily Signal reporter Fred Lucas's press pass

In two weeks, Fred Lucas, who covers the White House for The Daily Signal, will no longer have access to the White House.

As reported by the Signal, this is President Joe Biden's latest and arguably most audacious attempt to restrict media access to what he terms "the People's House." On July 31, when all "hard passes" expire, the White House Press Office will begin to adhere to new rules.

Lucas, who has held a hard pass since 2009, will no longer have easy access to White House press briefings or the expansive Pennsylvania Avenue campus, as he has for the past 14 years.

New rules, which were announced in May, restrict the number of journalists who can obtain a "hard pass" to the White House and give Biden's press staff greater authority to eject unfavorable reporters.

The rules state that anyone wishing to obtain a pass must first obtain "accreditation by a press gallery in either the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, or Supreme Court."

The Daily Signal, a 2014 publication founded by The Heritage Foundation, does not have press credentials to cover Congress or the Supreme Court, despite the fact that Lucas recently registered for both. It is unclear when he will receive a response, and if history is any indication, it is unlikely that he will be accepted.

During the previous tenure, only 25 individuals had a permanent seat on the Supreme Court. The galleries in Congress are governed by a committee of writers.

In two weeks, Lucas will not be the only author without a White House hard pass. White House officials will not say how many more individuals will be cut off, nor will they state how many hard passes are currently in circulation.

Simon Ateba, who covers the White House for Today News Africa and frequently clashes with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, is among those raising the alarm.

The new regulations stipulate that correspondents must work full-time for  "an organization whose main job is to spread news."

Moreover, the rules stipulate that correspondents must conduct themselves in a "professional manner," "respect their colleagues, White House employees, and guests," and "not impede events or briefings."

Ateba appears to frustrate not only Jean-Pierre, who refuses to respond to his queries during press briefings, but also the other journalists in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. The White House Press Office warned Ateba last week that he could be expelled if he did not comply with the new rules.

Others who do not satisfy the new White House Press Office standards will lose access on July 31. This includes The Daily Signal, which, according to data collected by The Righting from Comscore, is one of the most-visited conservative news websites in the United States.

Lucas has covered the White House for fourteen years, throughout the administrations of Obama, Trump, and Biden. During this period, he has witnessed both the press office and the White House Correspondents' Association undergo transformations.

The correspondent was demoted from full to associate membership in the White House Correspondents' Association because he lacked press credentials from Congress. However, this did not affect how he entered the White House press chamber.

In 2017, Lucas ran into controversy while working as a "pool reporter" at an event with Vice President Mike Pence.

Paul Farhi of The Washington Post questioned whether The Daily Signal was a "credible news source," despite the fact that no one disputed the veracity of Lucas's accounts.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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