Federal Judge Timothy Kelly ruled on Friday that the White House did not provide CNN reporter Jim Acosta with sufficient “due process” before suspending his Secret Service hard pass that permits him on the property. While delaying any larger ruling about the administration’s legal ability to strip reporters of their White House credentials, Kelly did grant CNN and Acosta the temporary injunction they were looking for.
Thus, until further notice, Acosta will be able to don his clown suit and head back into the spotlight as early as this afternoon.
“Let’s get back to work,” Acosta said.
Uh-huh. And what “work” is it that you do again, Mr. Acosta?
We would love it if, from here on out, Trump and Sarah Sanders simply stopped giving Acosta questions. Let him throw all the temper tantrums he wants (and he will). Let him finally get so frustrated that he does something that not even his fellow journalists can defend. He will. He’s too desperate for the attention to abide a time out. We say: Don’t call on him for at least a month. Not one single question. Let him sit there and stew in his own fame-hungry juices. He’ll blow up, and then you can kick him out of the White House permanently.
“Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House,” said Sanders in a statement.
Well, that was a matter of legal obviousness from the very beginning of all this. CNN could have, at any time, sent any of the legion of reporters they have on hand to fill in for Acosta. This was no First Amendment issue. No one was preventing Acosta from saying whatever he wanted to say. The president merely made it clear that if Acosta was going to be in the briefing room, he was going to behave as an adult and not a tantrum-throwing child. That, to us, is a singularly reasonable rule to lay down.
In his arguments on behalf of the network, CNN’s lawyer said in court: “The White House has made very clear that they don’t like the content of the reporting by CNN and Jim Acosta. Rudeness really is a code word for ‘I don’t like you being an aggressive reporter.’”
This is nonsense of the highest order. Every single press briefing is packed to capacity with aggressive reporters who go on television with stories that make President Trump sound like an unhinged, Nazi-sympathizing buffoon. And yet here we are, and Jim Acosta is the ONLY one – the only one of all of them – who has had his credentials suspended. It has absolutely nothing to do with the content of his “reporting” (if you can call it that) and everything to do with his clownish, unprofessional behavior.