In Joe Biden's America, the free press has about as much protection as the southern border, which is to say: not much.
Escalating its war on opposition media, the Biden administration arbitrarily banned a New York Post reporter from a White House event on Monday.
It was the notoriously inaccessible president's only event that day.
The Post's correspondent Steven Nelson received a vague message saying his request for credentials could not be accommodated, even though about 20 seats were left empty.
The restrictions hardly seem coincidental given the Post's critical reporting of Biden, particularly his involvement in his son Hunter Biden's overseas business dealings.
"We are unable to accommodate your credential request to attend the Investing in Airline Accountability Remarks on 5/8. The remarks will be live-streamed and can be viewed at WH.gov. Thank you for understanding. We will let you know if a credential becomes available," the White House said.
Nelson has been critical of Biden's overseas ties and his administration's practice of "pre-screening" reporters without apparent rhyme or reason. The vetting was introduced during COVID, but the pandemic is no longer an emergency, something the administration will recognize starting Thursday, May 11.
Nelson told the Washington Free Beacon that Biden is "setting an anti-press freedom precedent by prescreening journalists allowed to attend large indoor events."
"These spaces were open to all reporters on White House grounds in the past."
The chilling banning is part of an ominous pattern from the administration, which has consistently shielded Biden from scrutiny. Biden tends to snap when faced with the occasional adversarial reporter, and he uses detailed crib notes to get through his exceedingly rare press briefings.
The president lost his cool in February when Nelson asked point-blank whether Biden was "compromised" by his family's ties to China.
"You can come to my office and ask a question when you have more polite people with you," Biden snarled before storming out.
Biden's thin-skinned sensitivity comes paired with breath-taking cynicism.
It was just days ago that Biden asserted that "journalism is not a crime" while toasting the White House Correspondents' dinner, and of course, the 80-year-old deeply unpopular president is known for endlessly harping on "our democracy."