The White House Correspondents‘ Association on Sunday said it is “closely monitoring” the White House press secretary’s decision to suspend the pass of reporter Brian Karem for 30 days.
“We sincerely hope this White House does not again make the mistake of revoking a reporter’s hard pass,” Jonathan Karl, president of the association, said in a statement. “The WHCA has stood up to violations of due process rights before and we stand ready to safeguard those rights for all reporters who work to hold our government accountable.”
Karem, Playboy’s senior White House reporter, tweeted that he received an email Friday from the White House saying his pass would be suspended as of Monday afternoon.
On July 11, Karem and Sebastian Gorka, a conservative radio talk show host who previously served in the Trump administration, got into a shouting match about bias in social media at a White House event. They traded insults, which were caught on video.
My $$$ was on Seb as I note pic.twitter.com/yXfJfOKaZT
— Jim Hanson (@Uncle_Jimbo) July 11, 2019
Gorka, at one point, shouted: “You’re a punk! You’re not a journalist, you’re a punk!” Karem told Gorka: “Hey, Gorka, get a job!”
President Donald Trump chimed in on the fight with a tweet: “@SebGorka Wins Big, No Contest!”
The correspondents’ association said it is ready to protest if Karem’s due process rights are violated.
“We believe everyone should conduct themselves professionally at the White House,” Karl added in the statement.
In November, the White House pulled the press pass of Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, after a heated exchange at a news conference and a squabble with an intern over a microphone. After Acosta and CNN sued, a judge ordered Acosta‘s pass reinstated. In May, the Trump administration also imposed new rules to cut down on the number of journalists eligible for “hard” passes, which are long-term media credentials.