CNN Suing The White House

Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward

Moments after Fox News announced it would file a brief in support of CNN lawsuit to restore correspondent Jim Acosta's White House credentials, Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz dismissed the lawsuit as a p.r. effort.

The cable news network announced on Wednesday that it plans to file an amicus brief in support of a CNN-launched lawsuit that had been announced Tuesday.

"If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a risky chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials". President Nixon's battles with the news media were legendary, and much more recently President Obama had an openly antagonistic relationship with Fox News.

What followed was a montage of what was described as "Jim Acosta's lowlights" in which he is seen criticizing Trump's description of the press being the "enemy of the people" and his constant questioning of the White House press secretary. He used his hand to chop at the woman's elbow as she tried to take control of the microphone. "He is a far-left, grandstanding sycophant left-winger capitalizing on his blatant anti-Trump bias and his conduct inside the White House has been frankly a lot of times anything but professional".

The row on live national television and Acosta's resulting banishment triggered a wave of accusations that Trump is stifling the free press, and marked a sharp escalation in tensions between the president and CNN, a frequent target of his ire.

The White House had suspended Acosta's hard pass after he sparred at a news conference with the president, who demanded that the reporter give up the microphone and called him a "rude, bad person" when he did not immediately comply.

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CNN filed the federal lawsuit against the Trump administration on Tuesday demanding that the White House restore the press credential of star reporter Jim Acosta.

Trump and Acosta faced off during a November 7 White House news conference.

Trump is not the first president to openly spar with the press.

"The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolise the floor", the press secretary said in a statement. Trump characterizes the caravan as "an invasion", a term to which Acosta objected. "And I think what we're seeing is so often reporters are playing the victim with this administration when this is the most accessible administration, I would say, ever in history". "Because it took the spotlight off of Acosta constantly interrupting, refusing to give up the microphone in that incident last week, and turned him into something of a journalistic martyr". Later in the day, Acosta's credential was revoked.

"We continue to urge the administration to reverse course and fully reinstate CNN's correspondent", WHCA President Olivier Knox said.

In a signed declaration, CNN Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist wrote that "reliance on daily passes" to access other unscheduled events on the White House grounds like "gaggles" and off-camera briefings was "impracticable at best, impossible at worst".

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