A Bogus Beef

Recall CNN‘s Jim Acosta striking a White House intern (albeit lightly) and actively preventing her from doing her job.  In consequence of that, the White House suspended Acosta’s accesses to the White House.

Now CNN is suing the White House to get Acosta’s credentials back.  They’re doing it, too, on the risible grounds that the suspension violates Acosta’s 1st and 5th Amendment rights of free speech and due process.


Acosta is in no way restricted from speaking his piece or from asking questions, either personally or in his capacity as a member of the press, although for the time being, he can’t ask his questions at White House pressers.  With regard to that last, the freedom of…the press, here personified by CNN, is in no way restricted since the suspension applies to Acosta personally: CNN is free to appoint another of its employees to attend such gatherings and ask such questions as CNN might consider useful.

Furthermore, getting credentials for access to the White House is a privilege, not a right; due process plainly does not apply.  On the other hand, striking White House personnel—or anyone else—however firmly or lightly is neither a right nor a privilege for anyone, much less for members of the press.

In my view, Acosta should not have his suspension lifted until his boss publicly apologizes for Acosta’s misbehavior.

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