President Joe Biden’s administration reportedly requires journalists to send quotes to the communications team to vet them before they go to print.
Five reporters who cover the White House say the administration demands interviews with Biden officials be conducted on grounds known as “background with quote approval,” as Politico reports.
According to the report, in order for the official’s name to be attached to the quote, the reporter must go through the process of transcribing the quote and sending it to the communications team “to approve, veto or edit them.”
Several reporters say the Biden administration is similar to the Obama administration as it also employed the practice. Reporters indicate Trump did not do so as frequently as Biden.
“The rule treats them like coddled Capitol Hill pages and that’s not who they are or the protections they deserve,” one reporter said.
Another reporter added, “Every reporter I work with has encountered the same practice.”
The first reporter argued the only way to push back against the administration is “if we all band together.”
The second reporter asked Politico, “Have any reporters talked about mutinying?” The reporter added, “If you start fomenting an insurrection, keep me updated.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement to Politico, “We would welcome any outlet banning the use of anonymous background quotes that attack people personally or speak to internal processes from people who don’t even work in the Administration.”
Still, she explained, “At the same time, we make policy experts available in a range of formats to ensure context and substantive detail is available for stories. If outlets are not comfortable with that attribution for those officials they of course don’t need to utilize those voices.”
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