New Escalation Level: The US television channel CNN has sued the White House for locking up its reporter Jim Acosta . In a lawsuit filed in Washington on Tuesday, the broadcaster argues that suspending the accreditation violates Acosta’s and CNN’s constitutional rights, the broadcaster said on its website. If nothing is done about what happens in the White House, this would have an impact on the work of many journalists, the broadcaster continued. The expulsion of press representatives could have a “deterrent effect”, thus suppressing critical journalism. Live on air, the CNN moderators spoke of a “historic moment for press freedom.” The lawsuit seeks to ensure that this does not happen again.
Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders described the lawsuit as “another showmanship” by CNN. Acosta had the opportunity to answer two questions during the press conference and then “physically refused” to drop the microphone and let colleagues have their say. “The White House can not hold an orderly and fair press conference if a reporter behaves in a way that is neither appropriate nor professional,” Sanders said. The freedom of the press was not served when an individual of more than 150 journalists present tried to seize the event for themselves.
The Correspondents Association of the White House supports the suit of the transmitter. In a statement, she described the exclusion as disproportionate. “The President of the United States should not be able to arbitrarily choose the men and women who report on him,” said Olivier Knox, spokesman for the association.
The White House had also justified Acasta’s lockout by saying that during a tumultuous press conference by President Donald Trump last week, the journalist reportedly touched a White House intern who wanted to take the microphone away from him. Experts and journalists last expressed the suspicion, however, that the video was deliberately manipulated by the incident.