Veteran reporter facing ultimate censorship by Washington bureaucracy

July 13, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A news reporter based in Washington, D.C., Matthew Anthony Harper, is facing the ultimate censorship by the Washington bureaucracy: exclusion from press events.

WND – itself a veteran of legal and bureaucratic battles over press access in the nation's capital, once having threatened to sue all the officials of the Senate Press Gallery and ultimately winning its desired press pass – interviewed Harper, of the Christian newspaper InterMountain Christian News, whose access is now threatened.

Harper explained to WND that the White House press office is requiring him to hold a press pass with Congress and/or the Supreme Court as a condition for renewing his White House press pass.

But the congressional and Supreme Court offices have told him his news organization is funded by donations, and since he is not in attendance at those locations regularly, he does not qualify.

Harper explains that his "main news beat in Washington, D.C. is the White House" so such requirements are simply a "roadblock" to fair and equal access to events.

He explained, "President Trump did not have the unfair demands that the Biden administration has now. A 'Memo to the WHCA from the Press Secretary Regarding Press Access' during President Trump's administration dated March 16, 2019 states the only requirement for a White House Hard Pass 'you must cover the White House at least 50% of the time,'" he reported.

Harper has held a White House Hard Pass, which provides access to all press events there, since October 2021.

But the Biden administration has announced that as of the end of July, that is canceled.

Harper, a Southern Baptist chaplain, specializes in reporting on antisemitism and other human rights issues.

The Biden White House informed Harper of its changes, saying: "All current press hard passes will expire on July 31. You will be able to request renewal of your current hard pass as described below, and any renewed passes will remain valid for one year, subject to annual renewal."

It then requires verification letters from press organizations, which include the referenced "accreditation" from the Supreme Court, Senate, or House.

There have been multiple other conflicts with Joe Biden's press staff. The Western Journal recently wrote how Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blew up at reporter Simon Ateba of Today News Africa.

The report explained, "Ateba has not been called on for a question by Jean-Pierre for seven months, and he has been quite vocal about it. He is actually suing the White House Correspondents Association."

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