White House again threatens CNN reporter Jim Acosta's pass

Jamaica Gleaner
Freedom of the Press Upheld As Judge Orders White House to Reinstate CNN Reporter
Author

19 November, 2018

Trump's White House was forced to restore Acosta's credentials last week after Judge Timothy J. Kelly ruled that Acosta's due process rights had been violated.

On 19 November, CNN requested holding an emergency hearing at a US District Court on the case of its correspondent Jim Acosta after the White House notified him that his press pass would be revoked again by the end of November, The Hill reported.

"Jim Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the President", it added.

CNN sought an emergency hearing, saying in a Monday court filing that the administration was creating "retroactive due process".

"These basic, commonsense practices are necessary for orderly press conferences that are fair to all journalists in attendance", they wrote, adding that "no other reporter" failed to live up to those standards at the November 7 press conference. Acosta then refused to pass the microphone to a female White House aide and there was brief contact between the two.

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CNN argued in a statement provided to its own senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, that the action would threaten "all journalists and news organizations", about which Stelter tweeted early Monday. Acosta was stripped of his credentials, without warning, when he returned to the White House, where he works daily, after a heated exchange between Trump and Acosta at a press conference on November 7. The judge also remarked on Acosta "laying hands" on a White House intern, calling the characterization "likely untrue" and "partly based on evidence of questionable accuracy".

The White House called the lawsuit "grandstanding" and said CNN has almost 50 other journalists who can cover the White House, and Mr. Acosta's access is not critical to the cause of press freedom. CNN's suit accuses the administration of violating its and Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights. A hard pass allows a reporter to attend multiple press briefings without having to reapply for a day pass.

President Trump said on Fox News on Sunday that the White House plans to deal harshly with Acosta if he "misbehaves" again.

"We're writing them now. You have - we had a lot of reporters in that room, many, many reporters in that room, and they were unable to ask questions because this guy gets up and starts doing what he's supposed to be doing for him and for CNN and, you know, just shouting out questions".


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