Fox News network has issued a statement condemning the revocation of the press credentials belonging to CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.
The decision by the White House to revoke Acosta’s credentials, Fox News President Jay Wallace said in the statement, violated the tenets of a free and open press.
In addition to supporting its rival network, Fox said that it will also file a legal brief in the federal court where CNN is suing the president to reinstate Acosta’s press credentials.
“Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court,” Wallace said in his statement, per reporting from BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner in a Twitter message which he sent out on Wednesday. “Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized.”
This development may be surprising to President Donald Trump. It’s no secret that the president likely prefers Fox News above all other major news networks, frequently touting their reports shortly after watching their programs, according to reporting from Politico earlier this year.
The White House revoked Acosta’s credentials after a testy exchange between him and the president took place on Wednesday, November 7. The original rationale for the removal of credentials was due to a White House claim that Acosta had put his hands on an intern, a woman who was attempting to reach for his microphone to prevent him from asking additional questions. Yet video of that moment appeared to demonstrate that Acosta may not have intentionally pushed her hand away — and that his hand bumped with hers as she reached across his body, per previous reporting from the Inquisitr.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 14, 2018
Controversially, the White House released an animated GIF of the incident as evidence of their claim. The nature of the image compression sped up Acosta’s arm movement, making it seem like he did a “chopping” motion on the intern’s arm.
CNN claims that neither the White House — nor the president — has a say as to which members of the press can cover events at the executive residence. The accreditation process works differently.
First, a reporter gets approval from the Standing Committee of Correspondents — which itself is composed of members selected by accredited reporters — to get a Congressional press pass. After that, if the reporter wants to work at the White House, they must demonstrate they work for an organization whose “principal business is the daily dissemination of original news and opinion of interest to a broad segment of the public,” according to a 2010 report from Foreign Policy.
The last step to getting a press credential is passing a Secret Service background check. If nothing comes up that warrants a need to protect anyone at the White House, that reporter is able to report on the president.