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It is disgraceful enough for CNN and other networks to allow such bad behavior on their airwaves, but the President and his Press Secretary have a right to prevent it from occurring during their news conferences

TIME TO REIN IN THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORPS


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

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TIME TO REIN IN THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORPS
In the aftermath of U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly’s ruling that reinstated the White House press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta, the President outlined some overdue changes that will be implemented. Hereafter, the White House will be “writing up rules and regulations,” according to the President. He also predicted that “if they don’t listen to the rules and regulations, we’ll end up back in court, and we’ll win.”

This is necessary after the grandstanding Acosta made a mockery of the President’s post mid-term election news conference. It was another example of Acosta’s bad behavior. After asking several questions, the President tried to move on to another reporter. Incredibly, Acosta refused to relinquish the microphone to the intern who was trying to allow another reporter to ask a question.

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After such antics, the White House was fully justified in revoking Acosta’s press pass. The decision caused an uproar in the press. CNN filed a lawsuit against President Trump and several members of his administration demanding that the press pass be restored. The lawsuit was joined by many other media organizations including Fox News, who filed a “friend of the court” brief backing CNN.

The antics of Acosta and his colleagues were not supported by famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward. He argued that instead of a lawsuit, the remedy was “more serious reporting.” He said too many reporters have become “emotionally unhinged” by President Trump.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders labeled the lawsuit “grandstanding.” She noted that CNN has almost 50 other reporters with White House press credentials. According to Sanders, “Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment.”

In his ruling, Judge Kelly decided that Acosta’s pass should be temporarily restored, not on First Amendment grounds, but due to a violation of his Fifth Amendment rights of due process.

Judge Kelly did not establish that Jim Acosta and CNN have a constitutional right to a White House press pass. There are thousands of news organizations and tens of thousands of reporters who do not have such a coveted pass. The court did not validate the claims of CNN that Acosta’s “First Amendment rights of freedom of the press” were violated. If the court did make such a decision, every reporter in America would have a claim to a White House press pass.

All Americans should embrace the First Amendment and our precious rights, including the freedom of the press. Clearly, the United States has a free press because 95% of the media are opposed to the President of the United States and there is no effort to prevent them from operating.

No U.S. President has ever faced a more hostile press than Donald Trump. Despite the intense opposition, he provides regular opportunities for the media to ask questions, such as his most recent White House news conference that spanned 87 minutes.

Unfortunately, some members of the press try to take advantage of their opportunity to ask questions. These news conferences should work in an orderly manner with the reporters being identified by the President, then asking a question, an answer being given, and the microphone being passed to another reporter.

Sadly, such good behavior in not apparent in White House news conferences. In today’s anti-Trump media environment, reporters like April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks stand up and shout questions without being asked. At the last press conference, the President refused to answer a question that Ryan shouted. Not surprisingly, some of his critics labeled it racism because Ms. Ryan is African-American. The charge is ridiculous because the President answered questions from other African-American reporters. The President must be the only person conducting the press conference. It must be Donald Trump, not April Ryan or another other reporter, determining who gets to ask questions.

When a reporter like Ryan or Acosta acts like a child and refuses to relinquish the microphone at a press conference, he or she should not be allowed to come back to that type of setting. There are other reporters who have a right to be heard.

There must be a modicum of respect shown toward not only the President, but, also the American people who elected Donald Trump to that office. Henceforth, the President promised that reporters would not be allowed to ask, “three questions and four questions.” In addition, reporters like Acosta will not be able to just “stand up and not sit down.” 

These reforms will be crucial for Acosta and his colleagues who have treated the President and Sanders in an atrocious manner. It is disgraceful enough for CNN and other networks to allow such bad behavior on their airwaves, but the President and his Press Secretary have a right to prevent it from occurring during their news conferences.


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Jeff Crouere -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA. He is the host of a Louisiana-based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Friday & 10:00 p.m. Sunday on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station; and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in the New Orleans area & Wgso.com worldwide.

Jeff Crouere’s Youtube Channel

For more information or to order his new book, America’s Last Chance, visit his website JeffCrouere.com  For questions or to schedule Jeff for media appearances, email him at [email protected]


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