Opinion: Jim Acosta and the White House


A White House staff member reaches for the microphone held by CNN’s Jim Acosta as he questions U.S. President Donald Trump during a news conference following Tuesday’s midterm U.S. congressional elections at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

By Emilia O’Neil|
Featured Image Via  Daily Caller

On November 7, 2018, Jim Acosta attended the White House Press Briefing with President Donald Trump. When asking questions that Trump did not want to answer, Acosta pressured on. In response, Trump asked him to hand off the microphone because his turn to speak was over. Lindsay Walters, an intern, came over to take the microphone to hand it off to someone else. 

Jim Acosta was in the middle of asking Trump questions about immigration that Trump did not want to answer. After continuous questioning and Trump’s request for him to sit down, the young intern walked over to remove the microphone from his possession. He first pulled away from his hand with the microphone in it so that it was out of her reach, and when she finally was able to touch it, he pushed her arm down and out of the way, saying, “Pardon me, ma’am”. 

Image Via Euro News

According to The Guardian, “Acosta has had his White House credentials revoked after engaging in a fiery exchange with Donald Trump during a press conference after the mid-term elections.”  A video of this latest incident was posted on The Guardian which showed the order of events. Trump scolded Acosta, “You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.” 

Acosta’s actions were very inappropriate. He should not have put his hands on Walters. Although it could be perceived that she was aggressive when she tried to pull the microphone from his hands, he should not have retaliated by pushing her arm down.

CNN sued the White House because they claimed that removing his credentials was a violation of freedom of the press. The court ruled that the rules and regulations of the reporters were not clear and ordered the White House to reinstate his credentials. As a result, the White House released tougher press conference rules.

According to Vox, “At the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions, a follow-up question or questions may be permitted; and where a follow up has been allowed and asked, the questioner will then yield the floor.” Also, ” Failure to abide by any of the rules may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.”

Some people believe that what happened in the press conference will prevent journalists from asking questions that the president doesn’t like. They will fear the loss of their credentials.  Although some believe this, it did not have an effect on the journalism world. All of the reporters are still very competitive, and they will press questions for the information that they need.

This video is the unaltered version of the Press Conference with President Trump. 

Some accused White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders of posting an altered video of the incident in an attempt to make Acosta’s moves appear more aggressive.  Below is the altered vs. unaltered version of the video. However, whether the video was altered or not, in both videos Acosta´s actions were still inappropriate, especially after President Trump’s clear orders.

Someone who was invited into the White House for the opportunity to hear first hand from the president different pieces of information should at least show the president and White House staff respect. As visitors, they must abide by the rules and be respectful to the residents and the employees.