screengrab from https://www.cnn.com/videos/media/2018/11/08/jim-acosta-press-pass-secret-service-raw-vpx-new.cnn
Citing a violation of First Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights, cable news outlet CNN has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, seeking the permanent return of Jim Acosta’s press credentials.
CNN is claiming that while it happened to Acosta, it could have happened to anyone.
This morning, CNN filed a lawsuit against @realDonaldTrump and top aides. The White House has violated CNN and @Acosta's First Amendment rights of freedom of the press and Fifth Amendment rights to due process. Complaint: https://t.co/43oX6L8xA7 pic.twitter.com/RvJ0Cgh6oi
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 13, 2018
I… really disagree with the claims.
While several reporters have taken to open hostility with this administration (rightly or wrongly, depending on your point of view), the fact is that Acosta was the biggest, loudest, and most obnoxious voice in the room, often to the point of distraction.
There is nothing in the First Amendment that guarantees the right to a hard pass from the White House to a reporter, and there is nothing from the White House indicating (so far) that they wouldn’t allow another CNN reporter in. Likewise, Acosta is not being charged with a crime, so I don’t exactly see how this is a Fifth Amendment issue. The press pass is not his property, it is a privilege granted by the White House.
The whole issue is stupid. Acosta has done more harm to press pool journalism than he ever did good. You can debate the value of a White House press pool for days, but it’s very hard to argue that he’s doing anyone other than himself any favors when he openly combats the President, Press Secretary, and other White House officials.
How many journalists have missed an opportunity to question the White House because Acosta has refused to give up the spotlight? How many times must we endure his holier-than-thou approach to White House journalism? How many news cycles become about him and Trump’s war with the press instead of the actual news of the day?
Lest we forget, the day Acosta lost his press credentials was the day Jeff Sessions was forced to resign. Which issue are we still talking about right now?
This latest stunt by CNN only further fuels Trump’s base against them and makes it so much harder to take them seriously in the Trump era.