(UPDATED with CBS statement) Fox News has come out in support of CNN in CNN’s lawsuit against the White House’s decision to pull the press credentials of Jim Acosta, joining a dozen other media outlets announcing intent to file friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN and its White House correspondent.
“Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential,” Fox News President Jay Wallace said in a statement.
Not long afterwards, CBS also chimed in with support for the Jeff Zucker run cable newser. “CBS News supports the White House Correspondents Association and CNN’s legal effort to restore access for its White House correspondent,” said the crew at Black Rock. “We do not believe that revoking White House press credentials is an appropriate remedy for a disagreement the White House may have with a particular reporter. We intend to file a friend of the court brief in support of CNN’s lawsuit to defend its constitutional rights.”
The cable news network filed a lawsuit in DC District Court against Trump and top aides, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Deputy Chief of Staff/ Former Fox News co-president Bill Shine, as well as the Secret Service which took away Acosta’s hard pass that afternoon.
CNN demanded the return of its chief White House correspondent’s press pass. Read it here.
“Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question the President, or any President. We will be filing friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN’s and Jim Acosta’s lawsuit based on these principles,” 13 media outlets said in a joint statement this morning, including Fox News as well as AP, NBC, Gannett, New York Times, USA Today, Politico, Bloomberg, Washington Post and others.
“Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question the President, or any President. We will be filing friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN’s and Jim Acosta’s lawsuit based on these principles,” the 13 news outlets said in their statement.
“We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court,” added Fox News’s Wallace in his separate statement. Notable, given that many Fox News Channel commentators have blasted Acosta’s aggressive Trump question-asking, including some who say Acosta’s credentials should be revoked.
“Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized,” Wallace said. “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.”
Wallace’s remarks are in marked contrast to those of GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who called CNN’s First Amendment lawsuit a “political stunt.”
CNN’s lawsuit is a political stunt. They falsely claim this reporter’s hard pass was suspended because he asked "tough questions.”
Plenty of reporters asked "tough questions.” @realDonaldTrump took 68 of them from 35 reporters. Only one grandstanded & refused to give up the mic.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) November 13, 2018
McDaniels insisted, in a tweet, that Acosta continues to get White House access through daily passes, CNN reported, though that statement seems to have been removed from her tweeting.
Maybe after CNN pointed out it was inaccurate.
As CNN said in court documents filed Tuesday, the White House denied Acosta’s application for a day pass on November 8, the day after his hard pass was revoked following the post-midterms news conference.
And during Trump’s weekend trip to Paris, the White House and the Secret Service continued to deny Acosta access to press events. That included a ceremony for which Acosta had acquired separate credentials from the French government, according to CNN’s lawsuit.
In a signed declaration, CNN Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist wrote that “reliance on daily passes” to access other unscheduled events on the White House grounds like “gaggles” and off-camera briefings was “impracticable at best, impossible at worst.”