CNN's Jim Acosta has been at odds with the White House's deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Now, he faces a disturbing warning.
The freedom of the press has been a longstanding constitutional guarantee that is near the center of American politics. It can serve as an additional check on the power of governments and educate the public on important issues while also informing the public about how politicians are operating.
The nature of the media can seem adversarial, so it can create tension between elected politicians.
President Trump has had a consistently troubling relationship with the press. The Trump Administration has doubled down against news media that are biased and in favor of the Democrats. The White House has been outspoken about bias and sensationalized-style reporting.
The administration has seemingly restricted the media. By reducing the frequency of press briefings, the press was dealt a significant blow.
Furthermore, the President has also discredited many news outlets. He often deems left-leaning news sources as “fake news,” which drives the public away from those sources. On Twitter, he even asked about why the Senate is not “looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up.”
Interestingly, Trump also claimed to have coined the term “fake news,” but was quickly proven wrong by Merriam-Webster, who responded by showing examples of the term “fake news” being used throughout history.
Trump touts this opposition with the liberal media, but will never fail to praise right-leaning news outlets. This has served to reduce the media's power to provide checks on Trump's power that are viewed as legitimate. According to Trump's rhetoric, the most viable media outlets are those that are right-leaning, and therefore more likely to support him.
Trump's attack on opposing news outlets is a dangerous precedent. Unchecked power is not the American way and can result in disaster.
This emphasis on the allegedly fake news has also caused distractions from relevant and important issues.
What's Happening Now:
The White House's deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said that the White House will strive “to be accessible every day and answer questions from the media through a variety of formats, including the briefings, the gaggles and meetings in the press office.”
Today, this does not appear to be the case.
CNN reporter Jim Acosta said on Tuesday that the White House had issued an unofficial warning to him. Just a day after Acosta argued with Sanders about media accuracy, he was warned by Sanders that if he asked President Trump a question at a bill signing event, he might have his access to future events revoked.
On Twitter, Acosta announced “prior to this moment, @presssec issued a warning to me. She said if I asked a question of Trump at the bill signing “I can't promise you will be allowed into a pool spray again.” Sorry Sarah.. we won't be intimidated.”
The press pool is how the White House selects print and broadcast reporters to cover events at the White House.
Hallie Jackson replied by stating that the pool allows reporters to ask questions, but the President does not need to answer those questions.
Despite the warning, at the bill signing event, Acosta asked the president about a tweet in which he berated Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D).
The White House has yet to respond to a request for comment on Acosta's tweet.
H/T: The Hill