The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns Freedom of the Press. This freedom came to forefront of national discussion about two weeks ago when the White House pulled the press pass of CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta.
The pass was pulled just hours after Acosta refused to be civil at a post-midterms news conference. He was given an opportunity to ask questions of the President, but he turned his opportunity into a challenge and then refused to give the microphone to other reporters.
This is not the first time that Acosta has been antagonistic in press conferences. He has repeatedly sought attention in pressers and sulked whenever he did not receive the spotlight. He often acts as though the spotlight is his God-given right. In this case, Acosta continued to ask questions after another reporter had been called upon and physically stopped an intern from taking the microphone away. Several hours after the incident, the White House pulled his “hard pass” for his incivility.
CNN and Acosta took the case to court and were supported by other news outlets. Federal Judge Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee, ruled that the White House did not give Acosta his “due process” or opportunity to be heard before pulling his hard pass. The judge ruled that the White House had to provide due process to Acosta before the pass could be revoked.
Acosta and CNN seem to think that they won the case, but other people are claiming that Trump won and other reporters will hate Acosta. You see, the administration drawing up a list of rules for proper decorum in the White House to keep reporters such as Acosta in their proper place. There were many reporters – somewhere around 150 - in the room when Acosta went on his rant. They were unable to ask questions because Acosta hogged the spotlight and refused to give up the microphone.
Trump said that he will thank the reporters for coming and then leave any press conference if a similar situation arises. This writer expects that the rules of decorum will include something about shouting out questions when not called upon, making statements instead of asking questions, and issuing challenges to the President.