Actually, it was a super dumb move for the WH to come out with this stance. First thing is that they were trying to intimidate the other news agencies in the news pool, and by denying FOX initially, they set themselves up for the embarrassment that followed when they had to back down and allow them.
Childish and petty.
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville
They tried to exclude Helen Thomas because they wanted all dissent squashed and because all dissenters must be punished, and they conspicuously included Jeff Gannon because he was a gay male "escort" who dressed in camouflage g-strings who was eager to be their phony