Jim Acosta has been singled out by Donald Trump and made an example to strike fear into the hearts of reporters, as well as attack the institution of journalism — and some people are not having it, with a conservative commentator standing up for the CNN reporter.
Conservative Washington Post commentator Jennifer Rubin encouraged Acosta to sue the Trump administration after he was stripped of his press credentials, citing that he might have had his First Amendment rights violated. In her Post column, Rubin wrote that Trump singling out Acosta was illegal and against our democratic norms.
The government cannot punish or threaten the press or individuals based on the content of what is reported.”
Rubin also mentions that the federal court already ordered Trump to unblock people on Twitter who was critical of him.
This isn’t the first that time Trump might face legal consequences for attacking the press. PEN America has recently levied a lawsuit against Trump for threatening journalists with government retaliation when they report on him in ways he finds unsatisfactory. However, what happened to Acosta is unique — he’s the only person whose rights have been directly violated by Trump and his administration. Rubin continued:
The utility of filing a lawsuit (other than in annoying and embarrassing Trump and Sanders) would be a declaratory judgment ordering the White House to return Acosta’s credentials and barring the White House from taking such action in the future.”
Rubin encouraged other journalists to stand with Acosta and to boycott the White House for overstepping its boundaries. Rubin also spotlights how these briefings with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tends to be filled with lies and veiled threats against the press:
While I believe the press must continue to cover and attend news conferences when Trump is present, there is absolutely no reason to attend Sanders’s briefings, which do not impart information but instead use the press as a forum to abuse and threaten reporters and spread misinformation.”
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