The Standing Committee of Correspondents declined to give Breitbart News permanent media credentials to cover Congress, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday. The panel is in charge of approving press credentials to cover
The panel in charge of approving press credentials to new outlets seeking to cover Congress voted unanimously to table Breitbart's application. The panel also declined to extend the right-wing website's temporary credentials, which expire on May 31.
"News organizations seeking credentials for its reporters must be editorially independent of any institution or interest group that lobbies the federal government. The committee can reject applicants that fail to provide the information needed to make that verification," the Associated Press reported.
Breitbart has been called the leader of the alt-right movement and was headed by Steve Bannon before he was chosen as a chief strategist and senior counselor for the Trump administration. The news organization has been known for its overt racism and sexism.
An analysis released this week by the not-for-profit Media Matters also found that Breitbart "regularly promotes the research and films generated by its owners’ and top editors’ other projects." The Associated Press reported:
Committee chairman Billy House says questions have centered on whether several top editors at Breitbart are actively engaged by or affiliated with advocacy groups.
"We did not single Breitbart out for special review. But we are not going to single them out for special treatment," House said. "The gallery rules predate any of us on the board."
The Standing Committee said its statement that "the application was tabled until Breitbart can sufficiently demonstrate to the committee that they meet the requirements of Rule 4 of the Congressional rules governing the Gallery.”
The committee did add, however, that Breitbart still has the opportunity to have its application approved. “If Breitbart wishes to take steps to meet those requirements, the Committee will reopen its review.”
A spokesman for Breitbart said the outlet is "unequivocally entitled to permanent Senate Press Gallery credentials and is determined to secure them."