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CNN Sues Trump Administration to Reinstate Acosta’s Press Pass

CNN is suing the Trump administration over its decision to revoke the press pass of CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta.

According to a statement by CNN:

CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court. It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process. While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.

Among those named in the suit is the unfortunate Secret Service agent who confiscated the pass and was recorded by Acosta doing so.

The White House Correspondents’ Association issued a statement by WHCA President Olivier Knox, chief Washington correspondent of SiriusXM, supporting the move:

The White House Correspondents’ Association strongly supports CNN’s goal of seeing their correspondent regain a US Secret Service security credential that the White House should not have taken away in the first place. Revoking access to the White House complex amounted to disproportionate reaction to the events of last Wednesday. We continue to urge the Administration to reverse course and fully reinstate CNN’s correspondent.

The President of the United States should not be in the business of arbitrarily picking the men and women who cover him.

Actually, the decision to revoke the pass was not arbitrary. Acosta violated long-established norms at White House press conferences by refusing to end his questioning when asked to do so by the president, who in this case had already answered several questions from Acosta.

In 20 years covering the White House, it is not something I have ever seen before. The president was forced to step away from the lectern in order to get Acosta to desist. If such behavior by reporters is permitted, there cannot be properly functioning press conferences, and so the cause of press freedom is harmed.

While I support revoking Acosta’s pass over the incident, I think the White House should return it if he agrees not to pull such a stunt again.

Acosta was seeking just this kind of confrontation by not handing over the microphone. He got it, and with his network’s decision to back him, his notoriety and influence have no doubt been magnified.

This was an undignified effort to confront the president for the sake of having a confrontation and an attempt to convey the personal opinions of the reporter, not a strike for freedom of the press. Acosta’s actions bring disrepute on the press and, in fact, harm the cause of press freedom.

17 Responses to CNN Sues Trump Administration to Reinstate Acosta’s Press Pass

  1. CNN has not been refused access. They can assign any other reporter. Not everyone who wants to be in the WH press corps is allowed. This is about money for CNN and nothing else. He is not a journalist, he is a commentator. Personally I hope they lose.

  2. I agree with you, Ic southern. He is an invited guest. It is not his right. If a person shouts “Fire” in a movie theater is that considered free speech? Had Acosta done what he did in Nicaragua Ortega would have thrown him in jail.

  3. Unless Acosta is the sole owner and only employee of CNN, this lawsuit if frivolous.
    The POTUS must have the right to decide with whom and where he meets with the Press, and if he finds that a certain person is not complying with protocols or standards of behavior, then he has the right to refuse access.
    We all know that if CNN should win this lawsuit and MrTrump would be forced to allow Acosta to resume his place in the White House press corp, he will never be allowed to question the POTUS again.

    • No, srdem65, I think if CNN wins this lawsuit and President Trump is forced to reinstate him, there will be no limit to the bad behavior in the Press Corps from Dems and Prog reporters.

  4. He was acting like a douche-bag, that’s all. “Justice” and the health of free press would be served if he never stepped foot in the white house again. You can’t do that, and CNN is degrading itself even more by supporting him. What the hell is going on?

  5. Excellent analysis Keith! Even some democrats I know, are admitting that acosta’s behavior was atrocious and the President (who they Still hate irrationally & with a passion) was NOT violating crybaby jim’s free speech.

  6. Being in the press room is a privilege, therefore any reporter who cannot behave like an adult should have that privilege taken away. CNN can send other reporters, and their suit should be regarded as frivolous. I don’t see Acosta changing his boorish, disrespectful behavior.

  7. It is long past time to eliminate the Press Room and the Press from even being in the White House. This elite little club prevents a lot of other (and better) news organizations from covering the President. They are incapable of behaving and given the extreme negativity of the Press it should be moved across the street to a big room where reporters can submit their questions in advance.

  8. Amazing how there was not a peep from the press when their messiah, Barack the magic negro, threw out a member of the press. Or when he spied on members of the press. Acosta behaves like a bully and the press circles the wagons. More proof that liberals are mentally ill and if the demorats didn’t have double standards they would have no standards.

  9. I will be surprised if a Judge rules in favor of CNN and Acosta. At least a Trump appointed Judge is making the decision this time instead of Obama’s Judge In Hawaii or the 9th circuit. If the Judge rules against it will be a nightmare for the press. Trump will not give another Press Conference. I wouldn’t be shocked if they move the Press across the street.

    It cracks me up that the Press was ready to crucify Corey Lewandowski for grabbing Michelle Fields and they were looking at the CCTV camera footage bowing it up to see if his hand grabbed her wrist. Acosta himself used the “Manhandled” in describing Lewandowski. Now, the victim reporter Michelle Fields is stating the WH is Projecting wanting the Press to be blamed for violence??? Once again the Press is making a physchological diagnosis. At least, she acknowledged that Acosta touched the intern which for more than CNN and Acosta did after the event. CNN cut out the intern being “manhandled” by Acosta.

    Two more things……Didn’t The Obama’s close down the WH tours to the Public during the sequester and took forever to open? Of course, he blamed the Secret Service. So, the President and WH staff chooses who can and can’t come on the grounds. Let’s say this gets all the way to SCOTUS……These 9 judges have chosen not to allow any recording devices in the Supreme Court. They don’t give a Press Conference after to explain why they voted the way they did or why they slept during arguments. Are they taking away from the Press’ First Amendment Right by not allowing any questions or any access?

    I hate hypocrites and there are a ton. Present company excluded………

  10. First…Something like 50 CNN staff cover the WH…how hard is it to assign someone else to do the job?
    Second…I defy someone to show me where it is required that the WH allow anyone from the press into the WH on a regular basis. The daily briefings and other press interactions are as much a courtesy as a way for the WH to get information tot he public. I’m not advocating the WH stop having the press around. It is a good thing for all of us, but there is no legal grounds to insist on being there.

  11. I don’t understand why Trump kept calling on Acosta anyway (Trump is crazy like a fox, though)… If Acosta is reinstated, just don’t call on him, or anyone else who acts in such a manner. Only call on those who act like the “professionals” they are supposed to be.

  12. Stated simply, Jim Acosta is a “dick” and everyone knows it. When accosted by Acosta perhaps he expects everyone to glow like you’ve been touched by the Hem of Glory? CNN can’t give him his own show. They are overloaded by staff and guests who are frighteningly similar. I only tune in there to get a good belly laugh at the insanity displayed there.