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White House revokes Acosta's press pass twice

by Margaret Stewart - Copy Editor
Tue, Nov 27th 2018 10:00 pm
Freedom of the Press CNN reporter Jim Acosta (above) recently had his White House press pass revoked after a confrontation with president Donald Trump. During the incident, Acosta was denied his right to ask questions and then refused to give up the microphone. Acosta was then escorted out and got his press pass revoked.
Freedom of the Press CNN reporter Jim Acosta (above) recently had his White House press pass revoked after a confrontation with president Donald Trump. During the incident, Acosta was denied his right to ask questions and then refused to give up the microphone. Acosta was then escorted out and got his press pass revoked.

Jim Acosta is a name most people will be familiar with, especially in light of recent events. If by chance you have been living under a rock or avoiding the continual barrage of political drama orchestrated by our Commander in Chief, Jim Acosta, a journalist for CNN, recently became the target of President Trump’s condemnation during a rare White House press conference held on Wednesday, Nov. 7.

At the conference, Acosta was called upon by President Trump, which was surprising in itself as he makes a point to never field any questions from CNN and was attempting to ask his question while being interrupted. Viewers could feel the tension and could tell that it would be a rough exchange when Trump began to motion and make noises indicating for Acosta to ask his question as soon as Acosta had begun speaking.

With the President making comments like, “Honestly I think that you should let me run the country. You run CNN and if you did it well, your ratings would be higher,” and consistently interrupting Acosta while being questioned upon his immigration policy in regard to the migrant caravan headed toward the United States, things became heated quickly.

In fact, the exchange was so inflammatory that immediately after the press conference the White House revoked Acosta’s hard pass and Acosta was required to release it to a US Secret Service agent at the door.

Acosta posted a video of the exchange to Twitter that same night and explained in his caption, “As I told the officer, I don’t blame him. I know he’s just doing his job.”

Acosta and CNN filed to sue the president as well as his aides on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at which media outlets and journalists on both sides of the political divide stood up to the White House and with Acosta in an attempt to reinstate Acosta’s pass.

Even Jay Wallace, president of Fox News, released a statement on Wednesday, Nov. 14 explaining, “Secret Service passes for working journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the president and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for American people.”

A large part of the president’s time in office has been policing the usage of the “fake news” that he alleges media outlets, like CNN, are reporting. This is why it was alarming to see a video shared by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, showing altered footage which showed the original content sped up, making it appear as though Acosta had purposefully made physical contact with the intern while attempting to take the microphone from him.

On Friday, Nov. 16 Acosta was temporarily granted his hard pass back by Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee. According to cnbc.com, this was largely due to the fact that the Department of Justice lawyers had previously denied to defend the doctored video in their court appearance on November 14, which led Judge Kelly to conclude the video was “likely untrue.”

However, the question of what constitutes as “free press” continues. The White House recently sent a letter to Acosta reaffirming their belief that Acosta behaved poorly in regards to not yielding the floor to his fellow reporters.

Behavior and decorum have become the basis for both sides of the argument. Sanders and deputy chief of staff, Bill Shine, wrote in the letter, “Your behavior at the November 7 press conference violated the basic standards governing such events, and is, in our preliminary judgment, sufficient factual basis to revoke your hard pass.”

An argument CNN is consistently bringing up is that is no written code in which journalists are supposed to follow in regards to their behavior. These rules and expectations are currently being drafted and have been in the works since the press conference on November 7.

According to nbcnews.com, CNN has approached a federal court judge for an emergency hearing on Monday, Nov. 26 “or as soon thereafter as possible.” The White House’s final decision wasreached by 3 p.m. on November 26.