Written By: Mary Lucas
In the last week, the tension between Trump & The Media has escalated to new heights. The Trump administration has a troubling and sometimes outright nasty relationship with the press. President Donald Trump’s post-2018 midterms press conference is an excellent example of that, but the fallout from it has perhaps been even more consequential. Jim Acosta was banned from the White House indefinitely after getting into an argument with Trump at a Wednesday press conference.
After CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta lost his press pass last week, CNN sued President Donald Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and four other aides. CNN stated, “CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court,” the statement read. “It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process.”
Acosta has been entirely barred from attending White House events or asking questions of White House officials in person, according to CNN. The White House press corps and the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) similarly stood by Acosta and called for his press pass to be reinstated.
The White House has been under fire both for revoking Jim Acosta of CNN’s press pass and for the video Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted as the reasoning. Experts say the video was altered to exaggerate his actions during the Press Conference.
White House News Photographers Association President Whitney Shefte also denounced the White House for sharing the video. “As visual journalists, we know that manipulating images is manipulating the truth,” Shefte said. “It’s deceptive, dangerous and unethical. Knowingly sharing manipulated images is equally problematic, particularly when the person sharing them is a representative of our country’s highest office with vast influence over public opinion.” (CNN)
The issue began when Trump verbally attacked CNN reporter Jim Acosta during the Wednesday press conference after Acosta asked why Trump looks at the migrant caravan as an invasion The individuals in the migrant caravan plan to go through the proper channels to seek asylum. Trump has been fear-mongering about them before midterms. (Bustle)
The president repeatedly tried to keep Acosta from speaking, and Acosta continued his attempt to as a question. In CNN’s video of the interaction between Acosta and the intern that tried to take his microphone, he briefly — and accidentally — brushed her arm, before apologizing for it. (Bustle)
Trump’s attacks on Acosta, Phillip, and Ryan follow a pattern of similar attacks on reporters of color — and especially black female reporters while sending a clear message: If you challenge him or try to hold him accountable he will retaliate. Trump also went after PBS News Hour’s Yamiche Alcindor, calling her question about white nationalists “racist.”
After the White House opted to revoke Jim Acosta’s press credentials last week, President Trump has received a barrage of criticism, and a dozen news organizations have publicly backed CNN’s lawsuit, including FOX News.
Acosta and Trump have had a tense relationship for months
Acosta’s suspension from White House press briefings is not the first instance that has occurred with the Trump administration. In February of 2017, then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer barred journalists from the New York Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BBC, and the Huffington Post from a briefing.
On November sixteenth, a federal judge temporarily restored CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press pass. District Judge Timothy Kelly — who was appointed by President Trump in September 2017 — granted CNN’s request for a court order restoring Acosta’s press pass while its lawsuit against Trump and the White House proceeds. (CNN)