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Acosta deserved to be thrown out

Founders wanted a protected press, not an elitist class


By —— Bio and Archives--November 18, 2018

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Interesting how the press will call upon the Constitution when its suits their purpose but manages to miss the point entirely.

James Madison, in a speech before the First Congress, June 8, 1789 stated, “The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.” (boldface added)

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First Amendment was never intended to give the press elite status or guarantee that its rights overshadowed those of other citizens

Freedom of the press was intended to be protected in that the practices of the British Crown at the time was to silence voiced and printed opinion by jailing the dissenters. However, the First Amendment was never intended to give the press elite status or guarantee that its rights overshadowed those of other citizens.

The First Amendment guarantees a right to free speech however unpopular the speaker’s or writer’s words may be. It did not give representatives of the press a superlative right to hinder private citizens’ and public officials’ customary activities or duties.

In this country, the press has been encouraged to inquire about and report events, and throughout our history it has questioned the actions of individuals and corporations, private and public. The press has a duty to faithfully investigate issues that affect the public and report upon them but it has never been given a free hand to trespass, violate and trample the rights of others. That includes those in the public eye.

For some reason, especially over the last 50 years, members of the press have been encouraged to be aggressive and confrontational, believing that their “right to know” supersedes every other citizen’s rights.

Not so.

 

A free press operates with respect for the rights of others

A free press operates with respect for the rights of others because it has a responsibility to protect those rights by publishing corroborated facts, which is the opposite of how many in the media now conduct their business. What occurred at the White House, where a member of the press corps’ pass was revoked, is an example of just how unconscionably disrespectful the press has become of others’ rights by taking license to act the boor. The CNN correspondent’s aggressive refusal to relinquish the microphone was, in itself, enough of a transgression of the rules to warrant his removal from the premises.

When I served as a reporter, it was understood that you applied for press credentials which had to be earned. Press passes weren’t handed out to anyone who identified themselves as a journalist. Both the media outlet (print, web or broadcast) and the individual were verified as legitimate, including a track record of accurate reporting and circulation numbers. Even a reporter from a high school newspaper could gain eligibility to receive a press pass if the venue could accommodate them. And accommodation is a major issue when addressing the limited size of a venue such as the White House press room.

Every time a reporter crossed the line of basic courtesy when posing tough queries (which were and are anticipated from an adversarial press, a role the Founders wished it to fill), they could expect to be shown the door. Hostile questions are one thing, combative attitudes and behaving contemptuously are quite another. No member of the press has the right to abuse their station any more than a government official may abuse theirs.

Should a member of the media be ejected from their privileged position due to inappropriate actions, it is not for the judiciary to jump in and restore the reporter’s good standing. Why? Because they lost that standing by abusing their favored position.

 

Acosta has lost his hard pass for despising the privilege with inappropriate conduct.

In the circumstance of CNN’s White House rep, the attempt by a judge to make his banishment from the press corps a Fifth Amendment issue proves how the judiciary has misapplied the Constitution. Jim Acosta lost the privilege of covering the White House as a member of the elect press corps because of his abusive actions. For a judge to stretch the meaning of the clause by ruling that the reporter didn’t receive due process is a gross perversion of law:

“...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”

This is not a criminal case nor is the reporter being deprived of life, liberty or property. Acosta is not barred from plying his trade, which he can do anywhere other than at the White House. He has lost his hard pass for despising the privilege with inappropriate conduct. Like too many journalists, he believes that working for media gives him the right to enter premises simply because he is a member of an exclusive club.

That is not the case. Any beat reporter will tell you that playing by the rules of civility (despite what democrats say) is more effective than conflict in obtaining an accurate story. Abuse your position and the source will clam up and/or throw you out. Acosta deserved to be thrown out.


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A. Dru Kristenev -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Former newspaper publisher, A. Dru Kristenev,  grew up in the publishing industry working every angle of a paper, from ad composition and sales, to personnel management, copy writing, and overseeing all editorial content. During her tenure as a news professional, Kristenev traveled internationally as both a representative of the paper and non-profit organizations.

Since 2007, Kristenev has authored four fact-filled political suspense novels, the Baron Series, and two non-fiction books, all available on Amazon.

ChangingWind (changingwind.org) is a solutions-centered Christian ministry.

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