September 23, 2020

Member of Conservative Think Tank Takes On Reporter Duties on Air Force Two

The White House has increasingly nurtured relationships with conservative news outlets, including One America News Network, an organization that has been granted special permission to send a reporter to the briefing room despite restrictions put in effect by the White House Correspondents’ Association to keep reporters safe during the coronavirus pandemic. And the administration has long elevated niche outlets that cover it more favorably, while the president has systematically cast doubt on mainstream news organizations by referring to them as “fake news” and the “enemy of the people.”

Wednesday was not the first time someone representing The Daily Signal served as a pool reporter. In 2017, the website’s White House correspondent, Fred Lucas, was the first journalist from the organization to participate in White House pool duties.

But Mr. Bluey, a communications professional, is not listed as a reporter, and he does not cover the White House. In an email on Wednesday, Mr. Bluey said he started working in journalism in 1996 and helped create The Daily Signal in 2014. The site had been part of the White House Correspondents’ Association since 2016, he said.

“Since our founding, I’ve insisted our reporters maintain strong editorial standards and practices to ensure our credibility as a news outlet,” he said.

When The Washington Post raised questions in the past about Mr. Lucas’s participation in pool duties, given his association with an ideologically driven think tank, Mr. Bluey responded at length online, defending his colleague. There was nothing openly partisan about Mr. Bluey’s pool reports on Wednesday, which consisted mostly of quotes from Mr. Pence’s speech and brief observations about how an enthusiastic crowd responded.

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