The Evening Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
No, Jim Acosta and CNN did not “win” their case today, so everybody needs to calm down here.
All the plaintiffs in the case against the White House won this morning was an injunction in which the judge in the case, Timothy Kelly, ordered the restoration of Acosta’s hard pass to the White House grounds while the case is in the process of being heard and decided. Believe it or not, I think this was a completely reasonable action for the judge to take, since it ensures Acosta will not have been unfairly disadvantaged in the event that CNN and Acosta are able to make a compelling case that ends with a ruling in their favor.
Now, in addition to ordering Acosta’s pass to be restored, the judge let it be known that he thinks CNN and Acosta are likely to prevail on their 5th Amendment, due process-based argument that Acosta was not provided with “sufficient notice or explanation before his credentials were revoked or been given sufficient opportunity to respond before they were.” As it happened, Acosta was actually given no notice at all – he simply showed up at the Secret Service station outside the White House grounds where he normally presents his credentials before entering and was informed at that time that they had been revoked.
While the White House press office spelled out its reasons after the fact, the judge has ruled that this was not sufficient notice.
Judge Kelly also made it clear that he does not believe CNN or Acosta have an unfettered First Amendment-based right to a White House press badge.
Thus, basically what has happened today is that Judge Kelly has forced the White House to put Acosta on probation. His press badge will be restored while the case is being heard and will be revoked again should the Judge ultimately rule against the plaintiffs.
In the meantime, both President Trump and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders have promised to write up and publish a formal set of rules for decorum that Acosta and all other fake reporters must follow while on the White House grounds and during press briefings.
President Trump commented on the entire process earlier today in an interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace:
Trump told Wallace it’s “not a big deal,” saying, “What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct… we’re doing that, we’re going to write them up right now. It’s not a big deal. And if he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference.”
“Nobody believes in the First Amendment more than I do. And if I think somebody is acting out of sorts, I will leave. I’ll say, ‘Thank you very much, everybody. I appreciate you coming.’ And I’ll leave. And those reporters will not be too friendly to whoever it is that’s acting up.”
These White House press briefings have been taking place in their modern format since the mid-1970s. In all that time, the White House had never had a need to write up formal rules for decorum because the reporters involved were mature enough and had enough respect for the setting and the office of the presidency to know how to behave themselves. But today, unfortunately, the pack of childish jackals who now make up the White House press corps no longer possess those qualities as a group.
So, just like in any elementary school across America, the rules for behavior will be written up, probably posted on the wall, and anyone who acts up and violates them will be sent to the office for punishment. It’s pathetic, really, but then again, this is CNN and Jim Acosta we’re talking about here, so of course it is.
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