The White House was ordered by a Federal Court judge to return hard press credentials to Jim Acosta; the CNN propagandist who wanted to lecture, argue with, disrespect, and dominate President Donald Trump at a press briefing. Acosta’s behavior was abominable. He would not relinquish the microphone when requested to do so. He resisted the intern physically when she attempted to retrieve the microphone. He should have been summarily escorted out of the briefing by security.
The 15 day temporary ruling was issued by Federal Court Judge, Timothy J. Kelly. We now have an oral court precedent that says the President of the United States of America does not have unilateral control over who is in or out of press briefings. Judge Kelly issued a verbal order and has obfuscated any request for a transcript of court proceedings. The only details of this matter known to the public are those reported by a biased press.
This begs a larger issue and that is what is the role of a free press in our Republic. It is not to behave like a Jim Acosta; a spoiled, unruly brat. It properly is to gather information and report in an objective and unbiased way to the population of this country. The Founders wanted to be sure the people knew what was taking place in government so they, the people, could make informed decisions about the future of the county.The electronic media, New York Times, and the Washington Post, for example, have lost their way. The record shows false reporting and bias dominate. The record shows over 90% of what has been reported about the President and his administration has been negative.
CNN argued two issues. The first was that removing Acosta violated the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the freedom of the press. Neither the President nor anyone at the White House attempted to limit what Acosta or anyone else in America could print or report, be it fact or fiction. The court did not address this claim.
The second issue, not even filed by CNN but injected by the judge, was whether Acosta and CNN were denied the right to “due process” under the 5th Amendment.
The press briefing is not a court room for a civil or criminal proceedings. It is the White House press briefing room. There is no “due process” or law against which to measure “due process”; yet, this is what the judge hung his ruling on. Apparently the judge believes there must be a set of rules of behavior for the “reporters” to follow and some procedure for discipline if those rules are violated. However, as noted, we don’t know exactly what the reasoning was because the judge will not make public a proceedings transcript.
President Trump says his administration will write up some rules. It is my opinion such rules should say the President has sole authority over who is present at a press briefing and that he may bar anyone he deems appropriate, no questions asked. And…. guess what? The President does have total say over whether there will even be press briefings. He said that if things in his judgment get out of had: he and/or those conducting the briefing will say “BYE – BYE”.
This would be a shame given President Donald Trump has given more access for the press than any President in history. He responds to questions readily about any time and any where in spite of the disrespect and “fake news” reporting. The major national news media have a well deserved label: “The Enemy of the People”.