Whereas travellers to the US for "business or pleasure" may enter for up to 90 days visa-free (under the Visa Waiver Program / ESTA), you need a special one if you're "representing the foreign media".
No official justification is given above or indeed anywhere, but several journalists fall foul of it each year and are manhandled like terrorists as a result:
If the above is to be believed this policy wouldn't be supported by your average US citizen, yet the ongoing "need" for it was confirmed in a memo following the article. Again no reason for the need was specified, leaving most to speculate that America is afraid of being reported on.
America has one of the strongest traditions of freedom of speech in the world under the First Amendment. Singling out of foreign journalists stopped in 1952 but was revived in the year prior to the Guardian article. Why?