The Biden administration has been found demanding to be allowed to edit quotes from administration officials before they are published, according to The Washington Examiner.
President Joe Biden and other White House officials appear to be breaking protocol by asking that journalists not print the direct quotes.
A report in POLITICO cited five journalists who are part of the White House press pool who said that there is a “background with quote approval” process going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The journalists in question said that the Biden administration communications team is actively vetting quotes before they’ll allow a name to be attached to them and have them go to print.
“The routine includes reporters sending quotes to the communications shop, which then decides whether to ‘approve, veto or edit them,'” the Examiner reported.
According to the Examiner, approval of quotes is not unheard of, in fact, the previous two administrations used such a practice at times. The noteworthy portion is the frequency with which the Biden administration is attempting to control information going to the news media.
“The rule treats them like coddled Capitol Hill pages, and that’s not who they are or the protections they deserve,” one White House reporter, who was not named, told the news outlet.
According to longtime chief White House correspondent for the New York Times Peter Baker, this communication between the press and administration comms officials began as a way of allowing reporters to gain more transparency from the White House, asking for a piece of information to move from a “blind quote” to one with an official on the record.
“Instead of transparency, suddenly, the White House realized: ‘Hey, this quote approval thing is a cool thing,” Baker said. We can now control what is in their stories by refusing to allow them to use anything without our approval. And it’s a pernicious, insidious, awful practice that reporters should resist.”