Oh Please: CNN and Jim Acosta Preparing to Sue the White House
According to former ABC reporter Sam Donaldson, CNN and their star clown – er, journalist – Jim Acosta are preparing to file a lawsuit against the White House after President Donald Trump stripped the network’s correspondent of his press credentials. Donaldson told CNN host Brian Stelter that he’d been approached by the network’s lawyers to write up an affidavit in support of legal action. In a statement, CNN confirmed Donaldson’s story without verifying whether or not they would actually follow through with the suit.
“No decisions have been made,” CNN said in the statement. “We have reached out to the White House and gotten no response.”
Acosta’s suspension, of course, resulted from his behavior at a White House press conference the day after the midterms. Acosta attempted to ask question after question, ignoring the president after he was told to sit down and shut up. Finally, Trump’s anger reached a boiling point and he directed it at CNN’s Clown Prince.
“You are a rude, terrible person,” Trump said, pointing his finger at Acosta. “You should not be working for CNN. Go ahead. You are a very rude person, the way that you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. The way that you treat other people is horrible. You should not treat people that way.”
In the melee, Acosta forcibly kept a female White House staffer from taking the microphone (so that, you know, one of the other eighty reporters in the room could ask a question), and the White House pointed to that incident as the reason his credentials were suspended. There has since been controversy over whether or not Acosta actually assaulted the intern and whether or not the video shared by Sarah Sanders was doctored.
There’s a part of us that would love to see this lawsuit go forward, only because a judge would then have to decide whether or not what Acosta does at these press conferences really has anything to do with asking “hard questions.” Whether, indeed, he is a journalist in any meaningful sense of the word. The president is not obligated to let the press go wild at these things. You can’t just come in there and start shouting out of turn, screaming about your family problems, or promoting your traveling stand-up show on the White House’s time. You have to be there doing a specific job, and there’s a lot of evidence that the only job Acosta has been doing of late is the job of posturing for airtime.