President Trump Friday said it is responding to the judge’s ruling temporarily granting CNN’s Jim Acosta his pass back by saying the White House is writing up new rules for conduct and he vowed to continue making the case in court that Acosta’s pass should be revoked.
Trump said, according to the White House pool report:
People have to behave. We’re writing up rules and regulations. I think you were treated very unfairly. Both of you. Because you had somebody interrupting you. With the rules and regulations, we will end up back in court and we will win.
Decorum. You can’t take three questions and four questions . . . You can’t stand up and not sit down . . . We want total freedom of the press. It’s more important to me than anybody would believe. But you have to act with respect when you’re at the White house, and when I see the way some of my people get treated at press conferences, it’s terrible. So we’re setting up a certain standard, which is what the court is requesting . . . we always have the option of just leaving if we feel taht things aren’t being treated properly, if people aren’t being treated properly …and the other media and press in the room won’t be happy . . . I have instructed my people, you have the right to just leave when you are not being treated properly.
So, this is Acosta’s contribution to freedom of the press. Now, because he and others at the White House can’t behave in a civilized manner, the president is going to write “rules.” This will end up restricting press freedom to some – hopefully – limited extent. And once there are rules, future presidents, particularly leftists who unlike Trump actually do have totalitarian tendencies, will no doubt expand the rules and target organizations they don’t like, or the press as a whole.
I don’t know whether there is a formal code of conduct at the White House, but everyone used to know that you could be aggressive without being completely disrespectful and disorderly. Acosta crossed that line, which should have been evident before lawsuits were launched. Now the rules of behavior every kid learns in third grade will be codified, along with other “rules” that may restrict press freedom.