The controversy over the misbehavior of CNN’s Jim Acosta at a White House news conference, the suspension and restoration of his press pass, and new White House rules for for media was beginning to wane when NBC stirred it up again.
One of that network’s reporters claimed that the new rules – requiring them to turn over the microphone after asking a question and possibly a follow-up – hurts the American public.
Can we just underscore here that these rules are yes about reporters but they are really about YOU — voters — who can’t all be at the White House and who rely on us to get YOU answers. These rules are restraining all Americans’ ability to get answers from their government https://t.co/A7u11gFVBk
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) November 20, 2018
“Can we just underscore here that these rules are yes about reporters but they are really about YOU – voters – who can’t all be at the White House and who rely on us to get YOU answers,” intoned Kasie Hunt on Twitter. “These rules are restraining all Americans’ ability to get answers from their government.”
Hold on there, said a post on the Twitter news-aggregating site Twitchy, which asked its readers to “fact-check” the network.
“The MSM’s mission is just to deliver Americans the truth? People have thoughts about that,” the Twitchy post said.
EducatedHillbilly said of the media: “You spent 8 years fluffing Obama so don’t you DARE say you people have ever represented me. You sold every lie he told as truth and went after ANYONE who dared question his actions….”
Twitchy said: “The Obama years were in general an embarrassment of media lapdoggery. But wait, there’s more.”
The Fox News Channel’s Greg Gutfield wrote: “due process for some guy up for a job? Not so much. Due process for us, the media: the most important thing on earth.”
Matt Robbins said, “You read now-discredited allegations against Brett Kavanaugh live on national news ass if they were fact.”
And from Tim Graham: “Dear Kasie, So why won’t you get US answers when the Democrats are in power? Instead, we get Brian Williams going on happy-talk burger runs with Obama.”
Another Twitter user raised the issue of Obama’s actions against the media, when he “wiretapped AP and sent DOJ after Rosen.”
Reagan Battalion said: “There is a reason why an overwhelming majority of the American people don’t like the media, and it’s because they don’t buy this no matter how many times you repeat it, for good reason.”
“Bingo,” replied Twitchy.
WND reported the new White House rule came after Acosta belligerently challenged the president’s description of the immigrant “invasion” heading toward the U.S. then refused to give up the press room microphone.
No more, the White House said.
“We have notified Jim Acosta and CNN that his hard pass has been restored,” said a statement from Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. “We have also notified him of certain rules that will govern White House press conferences going forward.”
She explained that when a journalist is allowed to ask a single question, he or she then “will yield the floor,” although a followup question may be allowed.
“‘Yielding the floor; includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner.”
Any violation may result “in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass,” the White House said.
“We have created these rules with a degree of regret,” the statement said. “For years, members of the White House press corps have attended countless press events with the president and other officials without engaging in the behavior Mr. Acosta displayed at the November 7, 2018, press conference.
“We would have greatly preferred to continue hosting White House press conferences in reliance on a set of understood professional norms, and we believe the overwhelming majority of journalists covering the White House share that preference. But, given the position taken by CNN, we now feel obligated to replace previously shared practices with explicit rules.”
The White House said “a more elaborate and comprehensive set of rules might need to be devised, including, for example, for journalist conduct in the open (non-press room) areas inside and outside the White House and for Air Force One.”
“At this time however, we have decided not to frame such rules in the hope that professional journalistic norms will suffice to regulate conduct in those places. If unprofessional behavior occurs in those settings, or if a court should decide that explicit rules are required to regulate conduct there, we will be forced to reconsider this decision.”
The Washington Times reported earlier Monday the White House already had contacted Acosta and informed him his pass might be suspended again, once a judge’s temporary ruling expired.
Last Friday a federal judge ordered the White House to restore Acosta’s pass on the grounds he was not given due process.
While most of the establishment media outlets supported CNN’s demand that Acosta’s pass be restored, One America News Network sided with the White House.
Trump was “right on point” to call Acosta “rude” during the exchange, the network said.
“While this narcissistic approach may serve plaintiff’s self-interests as entertainers or media figures and the network that profits therefrom, they do not serve the interests of the forum,” OANN said.
WND reported when radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh unloaded on Acosta.
“I think this guy is just a petty, childish baby,” Limbaugh said of the CNN reporter. “He’s just a first class, A-number-one creep. He is totally and completely unlikable.”
“Jim Acosta has no constitutional right to be admitted to the White House, period,” Limbaugh added. “The White House is not prohibiting CNN from being in there.”
Sanders said Acosta’s “conduct is absolutely unacceptable.”
“It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question.”
As WND reported that at the news conference Acosta began by challenging Trump’s description of the Central American caravan as an “invasion.”
“It’s not an invasion,” Acosta insisted.
“Thank you for telling me that,” Trump said. “I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference of opinion.”
Acosta then asked, “Did you demonize immigrants?”
Trump explained he wants immigrants to come to America, because its expanding economy needs the workers, but they need to come legally.
Frustrated by Acosta’s criticism of a campaign ad, Trump finally said: “You should let me run the country and you should run CNN. If you did it well your ratings would be much better.”
He moved to another reporter, but Acosta refused to turn over the microphone.
“That’s enough. That’s enough,” Trump said.
When Acosta asked about the Russia investigation, Trump said: “It’s a hoax. Put down the mic.”
Trump continued: “CNN should be ashamed of themselves having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
Acosta tried to interrupt, asserting Trump was being unfair. He also again refused to give up the microphone, pushing away an aide who reached out for it.
“The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible,” Trump said. “The way you treat other people is horrible. You shouldn’t treat people like that.”
Acosta still refused to quit badgering, prompting Trump to say: “Just sit down please. When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are an enemy of the people.”
“This conduct is beyond reprehensible,” said Sean Hannity on his Fox News broadcast. “Imagine anybody doing this to Obama.”
Fox News’ Chris Wallace called Acosta’s behavior “shameful.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Wallace said.