Fox News is standing up for the freedom of the press by showing its support for CNN's lawsuit against President Donald Trump and several of his top aides
Last Wednesday, Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, was banned from the White House following a heated exchange with the president. In response, the following Tuesday, the news network sued on the grounds that the ban violates Acosta and CNN’s First and Fifth Amendment rights.
Voicing allegiance with the competing network, Fox News’ president Jay Wallace said in a statement: “FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access, and open exchanges for the American people.”
In response, CNN’s thanked the conservative outlet on Twitter.
Both CNN and Acosta, 47, are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, while the six defendants are: Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, press secretary Sarah Sanders, deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, the director of the Secret Service, and the Secret Service officer (referred to as John Doe, pending his identification) who took Acosta’s press pass away.
CNN said in a statement on Tuesday that “it demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process.”
Sanders released a response statement, saying: “We have been advised that CNN has filed a complaint challenging the suspension of Jim Acosta’s hard pass. This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit. CNN, who has nearly 50 additional hard pass holders, and Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment. After Mr. Acosta asked the President two questions — each of which the President answered — he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions. This was not the first time this reporter has inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters.
“The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional,” the statement continued. “The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolize the floor. If there is no check on this type of behavior it impedes the ability of the President, the White House staff, and members of the media to conduct business.”
RELATED VIDEO: President Trump Berates Jim Acosta During Heated Press Conference
Last Wednesday, Acosta was denied entry to the White House and had his press pass confiscated.
The suspension came after the White House falsely claimed that Acosta “put hands on” a female White House intern as she tried to take the microphone away from him following a heated exchange with the president in a press conference. Acosta has denied this on Twitter writing, “This is a lie.”
Sanders came under fire for sharing an allegedly doctored video of the moment that contains no audio and replays a slow motion version of the incident.
Sanders defended the decision in a statement saying, “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.
CNN said in a statement at the time that the “President’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far.”
“They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American. While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect free press, he has a worn obligation to protect it. A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalist.”