CNN senior White House reporter Jim Acosta had his “hard pass” press credentials suspended “until further notice” after a contentious news conference with President Trump, according to a statement from the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The decision to suspend Acosta’s press credentials and deny him access to the White House came on Wednesday hours after an ugly and intense confrontation with the President as well as an incident involving a young female White House intern whom he put his hands on when she tried to take the mic away from him during the contentious first post-midterm presser.
The move to rescind any reporter’s credentials and access to the White House is an unprecedented one.
Acosta only found out of the revocation of his access on Wednesday evening when he tried to re-enter the White House grounds.
The “hard pass” is a long-term press pass issued to the press corps and media correspondents which gives then access to the White House grounds.
After a failed back-and-forth attempt to pry the mic from Acosta, the CNN reporter then raised his hand to block the young aide from grabbing the mic leading to direct contact with her.
In a statement, Sanders castigated Acosta’s behaviour in a scene over the mic that went viral on social media and online platforms after it occurred.
“As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice,” she stated.
“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern,” said Sanders.
“This conduct is absolutely unacceptable,” she added.
What began as a direct “challenge” to the President by Acosta, aggressively trying to engage him in a debate over policy matters he is against, refusing to hand over the mic and give the floor to other reporters soon became a tense and an uncomfortable exchange between the two leading to Trump telling the CNN activist reporter,
“That’s enough. Put down the mic,” he said, pointing at him from the podium.
“CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN,” adding “You’re a very rude person.”
The White House Press Secretary later followed that with her own statement.
“It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question.”
She then called out the media outlet of the said reporter.
“The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaves is not only disgusting, it is an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone including young women who work in this Administration.”
In challenging CNN’s assertion that the President and the White House were in fact thwarting press freedom and free-speech, Sanders cited President Trump’s willingness to answer “68 questions from 35 reporters” during that contentious presser, countering the network’s false and misleading accusations.
“Contrary to CNN’s assertions, there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today. Only they would attack the President for not supporting a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters.”
The escalated tension between this White House and the press as well as between the President and members of the liberal mainstream media exposed the disdain the elitist media class have for Trump.
The ferociousness by mainly the liberal mainstream media towards President Trump also comes at a time when media’s rating are at a historic all-time low, with over 80% of polled Americans saying they do not trust the media and blame them for the increased tension and causing divisions in the country.
For a President whom the media class despise and detest, he is by far the most open, accessible and transparent President in recent memory despite the manner they portray, cover or not cover him.
“It’s such a hostile media,” he said almost towards the end of what had been the most hostile, confrontational and most contentious of Presidential press conferences.
“I came in here as a nice person wanting to answer questions and I had people jumping out of their seats screaming questions at me.”
Sadly, Trump’s statement is a minor reflection of the underlying unprofessional, bias, partisan and sad state of modern day journalism. It is a sad reflection of how the profession is quickly losing relevance due to a few media outlets with axes to grind simply because they still cannot accept that he is the U.S. President and that they lost the 2016 Presidential Election to him.
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