OPINION Muh’s News: Acosta’s Press Pass Should Never Have Been Revoked

Anna Muh, News Editor

On Nov. 7, CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass to the White House grounds was revoked following a heated encounter between Acosta and President Donald Trump at an open press conference.

During their interaction regarding the caravans of Central American migrants seeking entrance to the U.S., Acosta and Trump exchanged choice words and raised voices to each other. Ultimately, a White House intern attempted to intervene and take the microphone away from Acosta, who attempted to ask another question before finally surrendering it.

Later that evening as Acosta attempted to enter White House grounds for his evening hit, he was informed that he had been denied entrance to White House grounds and that his hard pass (which allows him easier access to the White House) had been revoked.

According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders (via Twitter), Acosta’s pass was revoked on the basis of his “disrespectful” and “unacceptable” conduct during the press conference. Sanders also included a doctored video of Acosta’s interaction with the White House intern who attempted to take the microphone from him, citing that it was also part of the reason why the White House ultimately decided to revoke his pass.

While Acosta’s press pass has since been restored, there is still a pressing issue that weighs heavily on the minds of journalists across the country: the White House’s ability and willingness to revoke a journalist’s first amendment rights and prevent him from doing his job.

A journalist’s job is to report news in an honest, ethical way. Part of this job includes asking individuals question that they may not necessarily want to answer. Acosta was simply doing his job by asking Trump questions that resulted in their verbal fight. While there were faults on both sides regarding Acosta and Trump’s tone of voice and diction, there was not anything in the argument warranted the revocation of Acosta’s press pass.

This begs the question of whether or not the White House should be able to limit a reporter’s first amendment rights for simply doing his job. If yes, what would warrant the revocation of a journalist’s press pass? If no, why should the White House be able to get away with it?

If the White House is willing to strip a journalist of his press pass over a four minute argument with the president, who is to say that they won’t do it again?