NYT Editorial Board Defends Jim Acosta: Let Him Do His Job

This post is by Amy Russo from Mediaite

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The New York TimesEditorial Board came to the defense Jim Acosta Thursday in a show of solidarity following the White House’s decision to suspend the CNN reporter’s press pass. In a column titled “Let Jim Acosta Do His Job,” the Board argued that the Trump administration’s actions inhibited press freedom and were based on the lie that Acosta had acted aggressively toward a White House intern. “Anger is one thing, but in suspending Mr. Acosta’s press credential, Mr. Trump signaled that in his view, asking hard questions — the most basic function of a reporter — disqualifies journalists from attending White House briefings,” the Board wrote. “That Mr. Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, would then use the demonstrably false claim that Mr. Acosta had laid ‘his hands on a young woman’ as a pretext to throw him out compounds the cynicism.” The Board noted the president’s praise for Rep. Greg Gianforte‘s (R-MT) assault of Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs, questioning why Sanders had not expressed the same disapproval of such behavior. Most concerning in the Acosta ordeal, the Board added, was “the extent of Mr. Trump’s ignorance of the role of a free press in American tradition and democracy, and of the president’s role in defending it.” Calling for the restoration of Acosta’s press pass, the Board simultaneously acknowledged that “Mr. Trump is not likely to temper his rhetoric,” suggesting that his GOP colleagues and friends at Fox News “try to impress on him the danger of confounding loyalty to Donald Trump with loyalty to the Constitution and to democracy.”

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