Brian Karem, the White House reporter for Playboy magazine, gained notoriety among the anti-Trump “resistance” for his combative style during press briefings with former President Donald Trump and his spokespeople.
On Thursday, Karem revealed that he had been kicked out of the White House Correspondents Association, ostensibly for his sharp critiques of strict new COVID-related restrictions imposed on reporters by the WHCA on behalf of the new Biden administration, Fox News reported.
Karem tweeted, “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!”
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
That column Karem referenced was critical of both the WHCA as well as the Biden administration for what he deemed were “draconian” as well as “unnecessary and poorly planned” restrictions on press access to the White House — restrictions that he accused the WHCA of enforcing against other reporters on behalf of the administration.
Karem specifically called out WHCA President Zeke Miller, an Associated Press reporter who has attended all of the briefings thus far. Karem strongly implied that Miller was colluding with the White House against other members of the media to his own benefit by excluding so many reporters from being included and forcing them to engage in a daily lottery drawing to gain access to the briefing room.
“No reporter should be an agent of the state; no reporter has the right to tell another whether they can be present at the White House. The Secret Service already does that job quite well,” Karem wrote. “When reporters police other reporters, it gives the impression those who are acting as cops have access others do not and made a Faustian deal to get it.”
He later added, “This early move aimed squarely at limiting press access is similar to moves made by the Trump administration, and just as arrogant. For a president who claims to embrace honesty, transparency and unity, this move is also potentially hypocritical.”
What’s the real reason?
According to the WHCA, the organization doesn’t “discuss membership” decisions, but an unnamed source said that Karem’s column had nothing to do with the decision to revoke his membership, and added that Karem could appeal the decision to the board, The Daily Caller reported.
Karem, however, told The Daily Caller that he has no plans to appeal the decision made by an organization that is “run by children.”
He claimed he was told he wasn’t a “team player” and was “told by a few other reporters that they were cautioned if they ever said anything against the WHCA that they would be heavily sanctioned.”
This is all slightly humorous, in that Karem was cheered and protected by the WHCA when he was berating Trump or being demeaning to press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, but is now out in the cold as the D.C. press corps no longer have a need for his arrogant and combative style with a “friendly” administration in the White House.