Former President Donald Trump took a lot of heat from mainstream media outlets in the early days of his term for battling with the White House press corps, including by threatening to ban certain members for having an obvious negative bias toward him.
Evidently, President Joe Biden’s White House is already headed down the same path, however. According to the Daily Caller, news broke this week that Playboy‘s White House correspondent, Brian Karem, had his White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) membership denied — and thus, his chance to attend White House press briefings revoked.
The move conveniently comes on the heels of an unflattering piece Karem published about the association.
In a Thursday tweet, Karem announced that his membership had been denied, and intimated that the piece he published earlier that day concerning possible conflicts of interest within the association was what led to the denial.
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. Guess I won’t go to the dinner this year! pic.twitter.com/wEVoOHt1eP
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) January 29, 2021
Karem also strongly pushed back on new rules set up by the Biden administration for how reporters could gain access to the White House for press briefings, writing in an article that Biden’s people “put the WHCA in charge of determining which of their professional comrades can enter, based on a daily lottery,” according to the Daily Caller.
A source with knowledge of Karem’s rejection reportedly said the association’s decision was made prior to the publication of Karem’s piece Thursday.
The timing of the denial definitely raises eyebrows, however, as Karem also indicated that he’d been “told by a few other reporters that they were cautioned if they ever said anything against the WHCA that they would be heavily sanctioned,” the Daily Caller reported.
A rocky past
While we might not ever know the true reason that Karem has been booted from doing his job covering the White House, he admittedly doesn’t have the best record in that regard.
As a CNN analyst, Karem engaged in a heated confrontation with former White House deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka in 2019, according to a report from the Daily Caller. Other reports suggested that Karem had been “taunting” attendees at a Rose Garden ceremony over seating arrangements.
As recently as December of last year, Karem was under the gun after Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany accused the Playboy reporter of shouting “demeaning” and “misogynistic” questions during a heated Fox News segment, the Daily Caller reported.
As far as Karem’s future after the WHCA rejected him this week, he has the opportunity to appeal the ruling. But he doesn’t seem to be worried about his career at the White House, saying this week that he doesn’t “give a s***” and will not appeal the decision, according to the Daily Caller.