The application submitted by Breitbart News for press credentials to cover Congress has been set aside, and temporary credentials currently held by the conservative news website will not be renewed.
The Standing Committee of Correspondents tabled Breitbart’s application on Tuesday, stating they have significant concerns about the editorial independence of the organization. The Committee controls membership of the Senate Press Gallery.
Breitbart News was previously run by Steve Bannon, who is the chief strategist in President Trump’s White House. The organization has struggled to prove that it is no longer affiliated with Bannon or the other political organizations he used to coordinate.
Standing Committee chairman and Omaha World Herald journalist Joe Morton stated that Breitbart could eventually qualify for press credentials after the organization gets better established.
“They are just not ready for a credential. They need to hire a managing editor who also does not work for an advocacy group,” Morton stated.
Senate Press Gallery rules state that permanently-credentialed reporters:
“… must not be engaged in any lobbying or paid advocacy, advertising, publicity or promotion work for any individual, political party, corporation, organization, or agency of the U.S. Government, or in prosecuting any claim before Congress or any federal government department, and will not do so while a member of the Daily Press Galleries. Applicants’ publications must be editorially independent of any institution, foundation or interest group that lobbies the federal government, or that is not principally a general news organization.”