Now that the media is protesting the suspension of Jim Acosta’s credentials Sam Husseini asks why he and the other journalists didn’t intervene on his behalf when he was expelled from a news conference.
By Sam Husseini
Special to Consortium News
CNN’s Jim Acosta has had his White House press credentials suspended following a tense exchange with Trump on Wednesday. CNN, the White House Correspondents’ Association and others have denounced the move.
CNN says it’s “Facts First.” That’s about as believable as Trump’s claim of “America First.” Some see aggressive journalism here. I see media logrolling, and “frenemies” at play.
On a superficial level, I empathize with Acosta. At press conferences I try to ask tough questions. At State Department briefings, spokeswoman Heather Nauert has carefully avoided calling on me, especially after this exchange when she refused to say what State’s position was on torture and evaded criticizing Saudi Arabia and Israel.
I was suspended from the National Press Club for a time (the ethics committee eventually overturned it) after confronting a Saudi autocrat at the start of the Arab uprisings. And this summer I was forcibly ejected from the Trump-Putin news conference in Helsinki for nothing more than carrying a sign with the subject of my question — a tactic I hoped would increase my chances of getting called on.
Acosta seems eager for solidarity just now.
This is interesting in part because of how he and his network failed to extend that same solidarity to me that day in Helsinki. Among other things, after I was forced out of the room, while clutching my sign, “Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty,” Anderson Cooper asked Acosta what was going on. Acosta said I was being forced out and described me as “a man who identified himself with The Nation, a progressive publication. I’m not sure if that’s accurate, that’s how he represented himself.” He added, “He said the reason I’m being removed — talking about himself obviously — is that he had a sign.”
Acosta then speculated on live TV that, “It appears he was being removed from the room because he was…