A liberal Washington Post columnist is blaming two foot surgeries and anti-President Trump views among the reasons the White House has cut him off at the knees. Dana Milbank announced in a column Wednesday that the press office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has stripped him of his press pass.
In a pretty sappy column, he explained that for the last 21 years he has had a “front-row seat to history.” I won’t bore you with the various moments in history that have touched him, but he said he’s not the only reporter who is suffering the loss. The new rule is that reporters must be working at the White House for 90 out of 180 days — a hardship for Milbank because of two foot surgeries that obviously kept him off his feet. He said six Washington Post reporters have also had their hard passes revoked. They have received “exemptions” so that they can attend briefings.
“The Post requested exceptions for its six White House reporters and for me, saying that this access is essential to our work (in my case, I often write “sketches” describing the White House scene). The White House press office granted exceptions to the other six, but not to me. I strongly suspect it’s because I’m a Trump critic. The move is perfectly in line with Trump’s banning of certain news organizations, including The Post, from his campaign events, and his threats to revoke White House credentials of journalists he doesn’t like.”
Adam Parkhomenko, a Democratic strategist and political adviser to Hillary Clinton, had fighting words for the move.
“This White House had no problem letting in every nutjob who could stand at the podium and flash a white power sign, but now they’ve decided Dana Milbank’s press pass should be revoked after 21 years,” he tweeted.
Milbank insisted he’s not looking for readers to feel sorry for him.
“I’m not looking for pity. Trump’s elimination of briefings and other changes have devalued White House coverage anyway. But there’s something wrong with a president having the power to decide which journalists can cover him.”
The columnist said that even with his foot surgeries, he would not have been able to meet the stringent standards the White House now requires for a hard pass. (RELATED: A Mirror Spy Once Spotted Milbank At Whole Foods)
Milbank is admittedly not a Trump fan. In April, he wrote a acerbic column calling for Trump’s impeachment for being so great. He reasoned that the president has been a great leader for anti-Semites and white supremacists.
“Jew haters have enjoyed record greatness during the Trump presidency,” he wrote. “Saturday’s deadly attack at a California synagogue came exactly six months after a massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. …Trump famously said there were some “very fine people” among the white supremacists who came to Charlottesville in 2017 for a white-nationalist rally at which armed neo-Nazis carried torches, chanted “Jews will not replace us” and killed a counterprotester.”
To be sure, Milbank has had an interesting relationship with Trump’s ascendance to POTUS. In 2015, he declared that if Trump won the GOP nomination, he’d literally eat his column. True to his word, he did just that. (RELATED: Columnist Enlists Local Chefs To Help Him Eat His Column)
In March of 2016, Milbank acknowledge how “reckless” he’d been in making such a foolish promise. You can watch him eat his column here. He said he took a Pepcid in advance of consuming the paper. Washington Chef Victor Albisu chopped up the column and divided it into an eight-course meal.
Milbank lamented the loss of the pass because of the sketches he often writes.
We’ll see if the White House press office eventually loosens up.
In the meantime, thanks for the memories.
Correction: The Mirror mistakenly attributed a tweet to WaPo‘s Glenn Kessler that he was quoting, but was not his. Apologies for the confusion. The quote has been removed.