People Mindlessly Defending CNN's Acosta

Larry Hoffman
November 14, 2018

"That there will be a court hearing on Tuesday on this very matter that we've been discussing", said Mr. Donaldson on CNN's "Reliable Sources".

The White House initially contended it was Acosta's refusal to give up the microphone that led to his banishment; CNN said it's apparent the president didn't like his questions.

One dramatic White House expulsion might have gotten much of the attention Thursday, but there's been another that free-speech advocates say must not be ignored: the banning of CNN reporter Jim Acosta. Trump responded in a vicious tone, "What a stupid question".

On Friday morning, while leaving the White House to head to Paris, Trump spoke with reporters, making it clear that moods had not cooled since Wednesday's press conference.

Fox News host Jesse Watters laid into CNN's Jim Acosta for the inflammatory incident that took place Wednesday during a press conference with President Donald Trump.

"I think it's important, particularly as the president continues to push back on the role of an independent press, to stake out the legal rules that should govern this and not let the president block people from speaking based on their viewpoint", Fallow said.

In Canada, where reporters don't get routine access to the Prime Minister's Office, media credentials to access Parliament Hill - more akin to the U.S. Congress than the White House - are managed by the parliamentary press gallery, not the PMO.

CNN's other White House reporters and producers have been unaffected by the action against Acosta. Alice Allison Dunnigan was the first African-American to serve as White House correspondent, which she gained access to in 1947. Even the tradition of past presidents not directly criticizing each other has been dispensed with by President Barack Obama, who has openly railed against President Trump while campaigning for other Democrats before the midterms.

"As visual journalists, we know that manipulating images is manipulating truth", said Whitney Shefte, the association's president. He started off his exchange with the president by saying that he will "challenge" Trump on his description of the migrant caravan. To some media observers, Trump's reactions echoed reports that Trump has previously mocked the accent of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi or mimicked the style of Asian trade negotiators. Trump has repeatedly shot down suggestions that he is racist. The newspaper said that if Sanders was so offended by physical contact, "what did she have to say when her boss praised as "my kind of guy" Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana, who was sentenced to anger management classes and community service for body-slamming a Guardian reporter last spring?"

Trump told Acosta at the news conference that "CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you work for them. It's a very bad thing you said".

The backdrop to this new suit, of course, is Trump's antipathy for CNN and other news outlets.

In fact, Phillip's question was not stupid - it was incredibly relevant as Matt Whitaker, who just took over as interim AG following the forced resignation of Jeff Sessions, has been highly critical of the Mueller investigation. He also went after NBC News's Peter Alexander on Wednesday, calling him "fake news".

It seemed like Trump had been lecturing the media on their behavioural conduct and couldn't help but faintly trying to maintain the White House decorum. But Trump's action appears to be unprecedented; there's no record of a president revoking such a pass from a reporter because he didn't like the questions the reporter asked.

"I mean, you talk about somebody that's a loser", the president said. But that would make them look like they're at war with the president, just as he always says they are.

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