One of the leading news broadcasting networks of the world, CNN, sued the Trump administration on Tuesday in an effort to reinstate the press credentials of its chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. Acosta, who has frequently clashed with Trump, angered the president at a formal news conference last week with questions about immigration and the special counsel’s investigation and then, hours later, the administration had removed Acosta’s credentials after which CNN filed the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, the network argued that the removal of Acosta’s White House press pass constituted a violation of his First Amendment rights to freely report on the government. CNN also asserted that the administration had violated Acosta’s due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment when it revoked his credentials without warning. Trump has continuously vilified the press since he started running for office in 2015 and his denigration of the news media as “the enemy of the American people”—and his popularisation of “fake news” as a way to dismiss critical coverage—has alarmed press freedom groups around the world. CNN’s lawsuit, it seems, has now provided an avenue for other media houses to vent their frustration against the administration as more than 10 prominent companies, including Fox News (known for their support for Trump), Washington Post, Politico, CBS, NBC News, ABC News, Bloomberg and the Associated Press, have now filed supports for CNN in their ongoing case. And very rightly so, as it is a journalist’s role to ask hard questions, hold the powerful to account and provide readers with as much information as possible.