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Jim Acosta Will Only Behave When There’s A Democrat In The White House

Media Bias: President Donald Trump says he’s drafting rules of decorum for White House reporters in the wake of the lawsuit involving CNN’s aggressively misbehaving reporter Jim Acosta. Funny how unruly press behavior never comes up when a Democrat is president.




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For those who haven’t been following this insider saga: The White House revoked Acosta’s press pass after his antics at an official Trump press conference, in which he refused to relinquish the microphone to a White House intern. (You can see the altercation here.)

CNN sued the White House, claiming that the ban violated Acosta’s First Amendment rights.

Judge Rules On Jim Acosta

Federal District Court judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, stayed the White House ban on due process grounds. But the judge emphasized that he wasn’t ruling on any First Amendment issue.

“I want to emphasize,” he said, “the very limited nature of this ruling. I have not determined that the First Amendment was violated here.”

The New York Times nevertheless declared this a significant victory for Jim Acosta and CNN, but went on to note that it could backfire on White House correspondents. Why? Because the ruling signaled to Trump that all he needs to do is come up with conduct-based rules and he can kick Acosta, or other reporters, out for good.

Not surprisingly, developing conduct rules is precisely what Trump says he’s doing.

Trump told Fox News the judge’s ruling is “not a big deal. What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct etc. etc. We’re doing that, were going to write them up right now. It’s not a big deal and if he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference.”

The Times goes on to quote George Washington University media law professor William Youmans warning that this would be a terrible development for the press.

“A ‘rudeness’ or ‘aggressive behavior’ policy would have a huge chilling effect, and would be much more damaging to the whole system,” he said. “If it lowers the bar for pulling credentials, it’s a recipe for a more tepid press.”

Jim Acosta Types Disappear Under Dems

Actually, the recipe for a more tepid press is simple: put a Democrat in the White House.

When President Obama took office, he broke tradition by telling reporters they couldn’t raise their hands and make noises. Instead, Obama would come to the podium with a list of reporters he intended to call on. The press dutifully obeyed, sitting quietly like schoolchildren while Obama worked his way down the list.

And when reporters were called on, they never asked questions like those posed routinely to Trump. Instead, Obama got questions like: “Mr. President, what do you say to Democrats who say you’re rewarding Republican obstruction here?” Or “Do you believe Rush Limbaugh’s apology to the Georgetown law student was sufficient and heartfelt?” Or “What would you do different to get immigration reform passed through the Congress?”

Reporter rarely, if ever, interrupted Obama while he gave long, meandering answers.

These were the same reporters, mind you, who’d just spent eight years hounding President Bush. Back then it was NBC News’ David Gregory who played the Jim Acosta role, repeatedly sparring with Bush and his press secretary. Gregory’s reward for showboating was a coveted spot as anchor of “Meet the Press.”

The Bush treatment, meanwhile, came after eight years of the White House press docilely covering the scandal-plagued Clinton administration. In fact, when former IBD reporter Paul Sperry asked Clinton a tough question about campaign contributions from China at a White House event, the White House press corps turned on Sperry, instead of noting Clinton’s emotionally explosive response.

Before that, when Reagan was president, reporters like Sam Donaldson routinely shouted questions at the president.

Pattern of Behavior

Does anyone detect a pattern here?

Indeed, if you want to see the glaring media bias at work, all you have to do is compare videos of Democratic and Republican press conferences. When Democrats are at the podium, it’s a love-in. Whenever a Republican is answering questions, the reporters’ anger is palpable.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the press aggressively covering the Trump White House. But mainstream press does itself, and the nation, a huge disservice by turning from vigilant watch dogs into obedient lap dogs whenever Democrats are in power.

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