Journalists have no First Amendment right to access the White House and CNN isn’t harmed by having reporter Jim Acosta barred from obtaining press credentials, the Justice Department said Wednesday, firing back at the cable network’s new lawsuit. CNN has 50 other journalists covering the White House and so the network isn’t punished by having one barred, the department said in a 28-page response filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. “No journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House,” the administration argued. The lawyers added: “The president is generally free to open the White House doors to political allies, in the hopes of furthering a particular agenda, and he is equally free to invite in only political foes, in the hopes of convincing them of his position. The First Amendment simply does not regulate these decisions. And the First Amendment does not impose stricter requirements when journalists, as a subset of the public, are granted or denied access to the White House.” The White House said Mr. Trump gave his personal blessing to strip Mr. Acosta’s pass last week after he verbally sparred with the president during a press conference, then got into an altercation with a White House intern. When the woman came to take the microphone from him, Mr. Acosta refused to give it back, using his hand to chop at the woman’s elbow as she tried to take control of the microphone. That contact has been widely debated. CNN downplayed it, while the White House said it was a physical assault on the woman, and used that as one justification for revoking Mr. Acosta’s press pass. The Justice Department said his conduct “disrupts press events and impedes other reporters from asking questions,” which officials said was “a more-than-sufficient reason for revoking his hard pass.” CNN counters that the move will produce a “chilling effect” in the media. Fox News, the Associated Press and other press outlets agreed, announcing Wednesday they will file friend-of-the-court briefs backing CNN. The Justice Department, though, pointed to a 2006 case involving a dispute between Maryland’s governor and the Baltimore Sun newspaper. A federal court in that case ruled the governor didn’t violate the First Amendment by ordering state employees not to speak with two reporters from the paper. “In reaching that conclusion, the court explained that providing ‘relatively less information’ to one reporter was permissible, even when done ‘on account of [that journalist’s] reporting,’” the lawyers argued.
The lawsuit filed in federal court by CNN against the White House for stripping Jim Acosta of his “hard pass” is beyond ridiculous. The very notion that his First Amendment rights were somehow violated is silly. As a refresher… The First Amendment to the Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The key words are “Congress shall make no law..” Nowhere in there does it say the White House, or the President, or the Executive Branch may not prohibit a member of the press from going into the White House. Nowhere. Previous administrations have revoked “hard passes” for all sorts of reasons. But, of course..this is Trump. So, suddenly its “unheard of” or an “assault on the press” and other such ridiculous nonsense put out there by CNN, MSNBC, and other members of the dominantly liberal mainstream media. We’re disappointed to see Fox News jump on the band wagon. Jim is a self-serving, grand-standing, obnoxious tool who makes his broadcasts all about himself; not the president he’s supposed to be covering. Historically, the President calls on reporters and answers questions. Not Jim. He likes to be combative with Trump. And, he’s very open about it. He’ll say, “I’m gonna challenge you on…” That’s not his role. It’s simply to report along with the rest of the press “pool”..and if given the opportunity to actually ask the president a question, the he should ask, then sit his ass down and pass the microphone to the next reporter…and allow the president to answer. By the way.. The president is NOT obligated to have such Q & As with the press. And, the whole incident with Jim getting physical with the poor White House intern just trying to do her job was the final straw for a White House press office that has endured Jim’s nonsense for far too long. So, he had his hard pass rejected…and deservedly so. Let’s hope the courts slap CNN down for this ridiculous lawsuit.