The White House issued new rules for reporters after losing a court battle to bar CNN’s Jim Acosta.
The White House backed down Monday from its threat to revoke Acosta’s press pass again after a judge ordered them to reinstate it after finding they likely violated his Fifth Amendment right to due process.
Instead, the White House issued new rules stating what kind of conduct will get reporters’ press passes revoked. Chief among them: asking multiple questions.
The rules say that reporters must only “ask a single question” and may only ask a follow-up question if the president or White House official says it’s alright. After the question, reporters must “physically surrender” the microphone. “Any” violations "may result in suspension or revocation."
Reporters reject new rules: The White House Correspondents’ Association said it has not agreed to Sanders’ terms.
"For as long as there have been White House press conferences, White House reporters have asked follow-up questions. We fully expect this tradition will continue,” the WHCA said in a statement.
Journalists worry about consequences: "Will reporters run afoul of these new rules?” wrote The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple. “Will they ask two questions when they're allotted only one? Such technicalities may be beside the point: Reporters will be THINKING about those rules and the hassles that come along with violating them."
"This looks like they're creating rules that are very easy to break and are likely to go unenforced until the government decides they want to make an example of somebody..." added The Los Angeles Times’ Matt Pearce.
WaPo fact-checker urges press corps to unite: "It would require WH reporters to cooperate, but every time the president fails to answer a question, or dodges it, the next reporter should note that he did not answer the question and restate it. Only way to beat the WH at its silly game,” wrote The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler.