November 16, 2018

CNN Files Lawsuit Against WH

The holidays are just around the corner. Now’s a GREAT time to forward us to friends and family, and not let politics ruin Thanksgiving dinner!

Washington Post

On Tuesday, CNN filed a lawsuit against the White House, claiming that the White House violated the First Amendment right to free speech as well as the due process clause by revoking Jim Acosta’s media credentials.


See past issues

From the Left

The left thinks Acosta should get his credentials back, but acknowledges that the whole episode involves grandstanding from both sides.

“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded nearly 41 years ago that the Secret Service cannot deny a journalist White House press credentials absent a compelling purpose—and certainly cannot do so because the president is not a fan of a journalist’s reporting."


“When the Founding Fathers established freedom of the press as a constitutional right, they didn’t hedge their support with the phrase as long as they’re nice about it. A free press by design is a check on power and often a robust critic of government... Reporters are watchdogs, not trained seals."

Chicago Tribune

Many note that “while nobody thinks Acosta assaulted a White House staffer, plenty of people did find his conduct to be inappropriate grandstanding. And this face-off between Trump and CNN is just one flurry in a larger war between Trump and the mainstream press that has an element of phoniness to it... while there is a real conflict here, there is also a real confluence of interests. Trump is good for CNN’s business, and CNN is a good foil for Trump’s politics."


Trump wanted to send a message. In the case of CNN and the rest of the press, the message is that they should be nicer to him. He also wanted to send a message to his supporters that he is tough on the news media, whom he condemns as ‘enemies of the people’... Courts will rule for CNN but Trump has already won."


Trump's “goal, it seems, is to put so much pressure on Tehran that it has no choice but to completely change its behavior — but he could end up leading the countries to the brink of war in the process… Now is typically the time when cooler heads prevail, but it’s unclear if there are cooler heads around… It’s hard to overstate how avoidable this situation was.”
Alex Ward, Vox

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right thinks Acosta’s credentials were justifiably revoked due to his inappropriate behavior.

From the Right

The right thinks Acosta’s credentials were justifiably revoked due to his inappropriate behavior.

“How can stopping a guy from trying to monopolize the floor at a press briefing which he had no legal right to attend in the first place be a violation of the First Amendment? Disruption, not viewpoint, is the grounds for revoking his press pass."

Hot Air

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer states, “Jim Acosta... damages himself and the rest of the press corps because he goes too far... nobody else does what Jim Acosta does... Never in my time at the White House was there ever a reporter who acts like Jim Acosta does, by becoming such an editorialist in the room."

The Hill

“The First Amendment prevents the President or anyone else in the federal government from restricting the ability of citizens to report and publish. Does it also require the President to listen to ill-informed lectures for as long as the lecturers choose to speak? Obviously if everyone had the right to refuse to surrender the microphone at press conferences the result would be fewer members of the press corps having an opportunity to ask questions, not more."

Wall Street Journal

“A president does not have to hold press conferences at all and can include or exclude anyone he wants. Franklin Delano Roosevelt used to hold press conferences of selected reporters in the Oval Office and prohibit them from quoting him without special permission. FDR never ranted publicly about fake news, but did refer to ‘the stupidity, cowardice and philistinism of working newspapermen.’"


Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

Philly’s first snow: Camel roams highway, winter widens Gritty’s eyes.

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