Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Fox News Backing CNN's Lawsuit Against White House

Fox News Backing CNN's Lawsuit Against White House

Fox News is supporting rival network CNN in its lawsuit against Donald Trump and senior officials over the revocation of correspondent Jim Acosta's White House press credentials.

Fox News separately issued a statement in support of CNN, saying White House passes "should never be weaponised".

She alleged that Acosta "physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern", softening the earlier misconduct accusation and then casting blame on the journalist for his persistent questioning.

CNN's lawsuit threatens to throw its owner, AT&T Inc., and the Trump administration back in court just months after the two sides squared off before a judge over whether AT&T can buy Time Warner Inc.

An initial hearing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Experts said the White House would likely be on the losing end if it decides to fight the litigation in court rather than restoring Acosta's credentials, the result the lawsuit seeks.

During a press conference at White House last week, Trump berated Acosta when he challenged the president's assertion that a caravan of Central American migrants making its way on foot through Mexico to the USA border represented an "invasion".

On Tuesday, CNN filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Washington, alleging that the White House's decision to revoke Acosta's press access following a combative exchange with Trump last week was a violation of "CNN and Acosta's First Amendment rights of freedom of the press".

Sanders later said Acosta's credentials had been revoked because he was depriving other reporters of the chance to ask questions.

The day after the November 6 congressional elections, Trump erupted into anger during a news conference when Acosta questioned him about the Russian Federation probe and a migrant caravan travelling through Mexico. Media outlets jealously guard their prerogatives - and White House access is the lifeblood of their business. "We can't have the White House tossing people out because they don't like what they are saying or what they are reporting".

The White House Correspondents' Association backed the lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C., district court.

"The stated rationale for the revocation of Mr. Acosta's pass-that he was disrupting press proceedings-is evident from the video he has proffered, is entirely viewpoint- and content-neutral, and clears this limited bar [prohibiting arbitrary and less than compelling reasons]", the administration argued. "That is the First Amendment".

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Watergate reporter argued that there has been "an emotional reaction" to Trump within the news media and that too many people had become "emotionally unhinged" by the president and were "taking his bait".

"It would be bad for the public, and for our democracy, if reporters questioning the president had to operate under an ever-present threat of this kind of retaliation", said the institute's executive director Jameel Jaffer.

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