When former President Donald Trump was in the White House, though most of the reporters who covered him were not politically aligned, they at least had the freedom to do their jobs as journalists without much White House oversight.
According to the Daily Wire, while most of the reporters covering President Joe Biden work for the mainstream media outlets that favor him, there’s reportedly mutiny on the horizon as the White House Press Corps recently expressed frustrations over a Biden administration rule that any quotes used in reports are first approved by the White House.
As Politico reported, a number of mainstream reporters have expressed great concern over the practice, which is fair, especially as it has the optics of a state-run media tactic, where government officials have the “opportunity to edit” quotes used in a story about administration officials.
“In practice, that means the information from an interview can be used in the story, but in order for the person’s name to be attached to a quote, the reporter must transcribe the quotes they want and then send them to the communications team to approve, veto or edit them,” Politico’s report indicated.
To be fair, the rule isn’t new, as it was frequently used in the Obama administration and even during Trump’s time in office. However, the report admitted that it was much less frequently used under Trump than it was under Obama and now Biden.
“The rule treats them like coddled Capitol Hill pages and that’s not who they are or the protections they deserve,” one anonymous reporter said. “The only way the press has the power to push back against this is if we all band together.”
Interestingly, another reporter reportedly asked if any of their colleagues have brought up the idea of “mutinying” adding, “If you start fomenting an insurrection, keep me updated.”
The Politico report added that at least one group of White House reporters are holding internal talks about forming an alliance with other outlets to pressure the White House into nixing the rule.
It would be wise for those reporters and outlets to do so, as Americans already hold very little trust in the media these days. Imagine if the masses were aware of how much control the White House has right now over news stories related to administration officials? It definitely wouldn’t be good for business.