Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Fox News standing with CNN in dispute with White House

The dispute and Acosta's banishment triggered a wave of accusations that Trump is stifling the free press The dispute and Acosta's banishment triggered a wave of accusations that Trump is stifling the free press
Ellis Copeland | 14 November, 2018, 21:40

Judge Andrew Napolitano, the top legal analyst on Trump's favorite network, Fox News, said the same thing on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Fox News President Jay Wallace announced that the network stands with CNN, and will support its suit against Trump and members of his administration.

Last week, the administration announced it was taking away Acosta's pass after a tense exchange with President Trump in which he refused to relinquish a microphone when prompted by a White House intern.

The White House dismissed the lawsuit by calling the measure grandstanding by CNN.

Defending the decision, administration officials accused him of "placing his hands" on a press aide when she tried to retrieve the microphone from him - something Acosta and CNN deny.

CNN asked for a temporary restraining order, warning that Acosta's credential suspension could set a precedent for future attacks on other outlets.

Although Fox News has been criticized for its close relationship with the president, it is siding with CNN on the lawsuit and has filed an amicus brief. During the back-and-forth, Trump called Acosta "a rude, bad person". Fox, which has often been praised by United States president Donald Trump, said the revoking of the CNN reporter's press pass raises concerns over freedom of the press.

Sanders later said Acosta's credentials had been revoked because he was depriving other reporters of the chance to ask questions.

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Meanwhile, in a November 8 commentary by the journalism organization Poynter, Al Tompkins and Kelly McBride are urging other reporters to use the situation as a learning experience.

"Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter's press credential".

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, in an interview at a Yahoo financial summit on Tuesday, said Mr. Trump is "very pro-press", and she really doesn't think the First Amendment is "imperiled at the Trump White House".

"The White House can not run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional", she said.

"The stated rationale for the revocation of Mr. Acosta's pass-that he was disrupting press proceedings-is evident from the video he has proffered, is entirely viewpoint- and content-neutral, and clears this limited bar [prohibiting arbitrary and less than compelling reasons]", the administration argued.

Wallace's remarks are in marked contrast to those of GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who called CNN's First Amendment lawsuit a "political stunt".

The American network said its correspondent Jim Acosta's removal was a violation of his First Amendment rights to freely report on the government. But the two have supported each other in the past when it comes to press access.

"Such interactions [between reporter and president] however uncomfortable they may appear to be, help define the strength of our national institutions", the association said.

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