Bob Woodward, the award-winning journalist who helped break the Watergate scandal, accused CNN and multiple media figures of being “emotionally unhinged.”
He says that suing the Trump Administration, as CNN has done, is the wrong tactic. What’s called for, according to Woodward, is “more serious reporting about what he’s doing,” according to Fox News.
CNN filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday against the Trump Administration for stripping away the press credentials of their reporter Jim Acosta.
Acosta was suspended last week by the White House after an incident at a press conference. After a heated back-and-forth between Acosta and Donald Trump, Acosta refused to yield the microphone he was holding. An intern attempted to take the microphone away.
The White House claims that Acosta’s press credentials were taken away because he placed his hands on the intern in a physical altercation. Eyewitnesses and video evidence do not support this claim.
Adding fuel to the fire, the White House released a video clip of the incident through White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. In this clip, it appears that Acosta did, in fact, touch the intern. However, many believe that this footage has been doctored and point out that it is significantly different from other video feeds of the incident.
Jim Acosta will go down as an American hero before all this is said and done. This is probably the scariest I’ve seen Trump yet. This is not how an American President treats the press.— Tomthunkit™ (@TomthunkitsMind) November 13, 2018
Absolutely chilling. pic.twitter.com/JhjnorYzXp
“In the news media there has been an emotional reaction to Trump,” Woodward said.
“Too many people for Trump or against Trump have become emotionally unhinged about this.”
“This was not the first time this reporter has inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters,” Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional. The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolize the floor.”
The lawsuit brought by CNN says that President Trump and others within the White House have violated the First and Fifth Amendments, according to the Hill.
Sanders says the lawsuit is “more grandstanding” and says the White House will “vigorously defend” itself against the charges.
“While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone,” CNN said in a recent statement.
“If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”
Bob Woodward is best-known for his work as an investigative journalist with the Washington Post. In 1972, he worked with Carl Bernstein to break the Watergate scandal. More recently, Bob Woodward has published a book about the Trump Administration called Fear. Trump has denounced the book.