Jim Acosta did not do reporters a favor when he decided to be extremely rude to President Trump and then not follow protocol. CNN and Acosta sued the administration to get Acosta’s press pass back. But what it inadvertently did was open the procedural door to make it easier for Trump to eject rude and contentious media hacks as he sees fit.
Simple hard and fast rules now have been put in place and if a reporter does not adhere to them, then they can have their press credentials revoked and be removed. All Acosta’s stunt accomplished was to allow these rules to be codified and implemented. The Washington Examiner has more on the unintended consequences for the media that Acosta has wrought:
The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly in Cable News Network v. Donald J. Trump ordering the White House to restore the press pass of reporter Jim Acosta has been hailed as a victory not only for CNN but for the entire press and the cause of journalism. But the end result of Kelly’s ruling, and of the CNN lawsuit, might not be happy for reporters and the news organizations that employ them.
The transcript of the Nov. 16 court session in which Kelly delivered his oral ruling was released in group of court papers on Monday. Kelly declared that the White House could not eject Acosta without first providing him due process — specifically, notice of the revocation of his press pass, a chance for Acosta to respond, and a written decision.
In short, the judge said to the White House: You can’t throw out a reporter without going through a process. But if you go through a process — which you, the White House, can design — then you can throw the reporter out. In the end, it could be that Kelly’s ruling will make it easier for the White House to oust reporters in the future — and to make the decision stick.
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