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Acosta got his press pass back, but his media colleagues will pay the price

Acosta got his press pass back, but his media colleagues will pay the price

Court ruling permits White House to promulgate press conduct and discipline rules, something the White House is eager to do.

https://youtu.be/4BZ8ck_7cqk?t=90

On Friday, November 16, 2018, the federal District Court in D.C. granted a temporary restraining order compelling the White House to reinstate CNN’s Jim Acosta’s “hard pass,” that gives him privileged access to the White House for press briefings and events.

As described in our coverage of the decision, there is no written opinion or transcript as of now that can be reviewed to understand the precise parameters and reasoning of the judge. As of this writing, we only have media reports as to the judge’s stated reasons.

Based on those media reports, it appears that Acosta won on procedural grounds, that he was not afforded due process in the revocation of his hard pass. The judge stated that the ruling was narrow, and that it did not include a determination (yet) that Acosta’s First Amendment rights were violated.

Acosta exploited the lack of formal procedures and process to get back his pass. But that may come back to bite his colleagues.

While I didn’t expect the judge to grant the TRO, I predicted Acosta’s lawsuit risked taking bad facts and making bad law, Jim Acosta and his media enablers are on the verge of creating law that will damage journalism:

“Bad facts make bad law” is a common saying. What that means is that bad facts in a specific case can create legal precedent that is damaging to others, not just the bad actor in the case.

Nowhere is that more clear than in the pending motion by Jim Acosta and CNN, publicly supported by over a dozen major media outlets, requesting a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction forcing the White House to restore Acosta’s press “hard pass.” ….

In the absence of clear law, the president and press have established certain norms of conduct. The White House gets to decide who gets hard passes, but usually gives such passes to numerous reporters for each of the major networks and newspapers without singling people out for denial.

A reciprocal norm is that reporters who get hard passes, while they may ask difficult and contentious questions, do not abuse the privileged access status of hard passes by disrupting press conferences or other events.

Acosta has pushed these norms to the extreme ever since Trump took office. He is a showboater who makes everything about him. He shouts questions in very dramatic fashion. He offers commentary and criticism, as if he were a political opponent and the press conference were a debate.

Acosta’s conduct prior to November 7 was the subject of much criticism from Trump and Sarah Sanders, among others, but he never lost his “hard pass” before. All the while, CNN promoted Acosta’s antics for ratings and clicks, and other media were largely silent as they witnessed his aggressive self-aggrandizing performances during press conferences and press briefings.

As even the NY Times acknowledges, under the TRO Ruling the White House can design policies and procedures to regulate the conduct and discipline of reporters granted access to the White House:

The ruling was a significant victory for CNN and Mr. Acosta, but Judge Kelly declined to say whether the denial of the White House press pass had amounted to a First Amendment issue.

“I want to emphasize the very limited nature of this ruling,” he said, saying that it was not meant to enshrine journalists’ right to access. “I have not determined that the First Amendment was violated here.”

The legal battle is expected to continue: Judge Kelly ruled only on the network’s emergency request for a temporary restoration of Mr. Acosta’s credentials. Hearings on other issues in the case are expected to resume next week.

Some lawyers said that, CNN’s initial victory aside, journalists who cover the president had to remain vigilant. The case underscored that the entree granted to the White House press corps, which has worked out of the West Wing for decades, relies on custom rather than any legal framework.

“This could backfire,” said William L. Youmans, a professor of media law at George Washington University. Mr. Acosta “gets his credential now, but it empowers the Trump administration to come up with conduct-based criteria.”

“A ‘rudeness’ or ‘aggressive behavior’ policy would have a huge chilling effect, and would be much more damaging to the whole system,” Dr. Youmans added. “If it lowers the bar for pulling credentials, it’s a recipe for a more tepid press.”

Trump has promised to do just that, Trump on CNN’s Jim Acosta: ‘If he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out’:

President Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that he will kick CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta out of press conferences if he “misbehaves” going forward after a federal judge temporarily restored his press pass.

Trump sat down with the “Fox News Sunday” host on Friday for a wide-ranging discussion – the first time Wallace has interviewed Trump since he took office. Wallace pointed out that a federal judge ruled earlier Friday that the White House must reinstate Acosta’s press credential.

“Yeah, its fine, I mean it’s not a big deal. What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct etc. etc. We’re doing that, were going to write them up right now. It’s not a big deal and if he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference,” Trump said.

Wallace asked what rules the administration would put in place going forward after U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly declared that Acosta should be allowed back in the White House.

“We’re writing them now. We’ll have rules of decorum, you know you can’t keep asking questions. We had a lot of reporters in that room, many many reporters in that room and they were unable to ask questions because this guy gets up and starts, you know, doing what he’s supposed to be doing for him and for CNN and you know just shouting out questions and making statements, too,” Trump said.

Marc Lotter, former press secretary to Mike Pence, appearing on NPR argued that ultimately the ruling is a win for Trump and future presidents, Is court ruling on CNN press pass a ‘win for the White House?’:

Judy Woodruff:

We continue our look at the president’s relationship with the press with Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post media columnist and longtime journalist. And Marc Lotter, he served as press secretary to Vice President Mike Pence and as special assistant to the president.

Welcome to both of you.

And, Marc Lotter, let’s start with you.

This judge today ruled on narrow grounds. He said the White House had to give Jim Acosta his pass back because he had been denied due process. So where does that leave us?

Marc Lotter:

I think, long term, it’s a win for the White House and actually for future presidents, because this was a very tailored decision that wasn’t related around the First Amendment and unrestricted access to the White House, but on a due process side.

And the president today and Press Secretary Sarah Sanders have indicated they’re going to developing procedures and protocols to be followed. And then that will give them the future ability to take necessary actions if decorum and procedures are broken.

According to reports, over 50 White House press correspondents greeted and cheered Acosta upon his return to the White House immediately after the ruling.

That jubilation will be short-lived.

UPDATE:

White House initiates process to suspend Jim Acosta’s press pass (Update: WH ends effort, issues new rules)


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Comments

DouglasJBender | November 18, 2018 at 7:47 pm

This world is beginning to resemble a bad play put on by clowns.

    The first rule of the playground, is that juvenile behavior is notoriously pro-choice, selective, and opportunistic.

    Many dismissed Hitler as a ‘clown’ as he rose to power.

    Beware of ‘clowns’ being empowered in your government. (And as: How’d 2008 to 2016 work out for you?)

      “How did Adolf Hitler — described by one eminent magazine editor in 1930 as a “half-insane rascal,” a “pathetic dunderhead,” a “nowhere fool,” a “big mouth” — rise to power in the land of Goethe and Beethoven?”
      https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/28/books/hitler-ascent-volker-ullrich.html

      He was the Cortez of his time.

        From the NY Slimes, but worth reading. How true it is ringing here in America. Who’d ever thought?…

        How did Adolf Hitler — described by one eminent magazine editor in 1930 as a “half-insane rascal,” a “pathetic dunderhead,” a “nowhere fool,” a “big mouth” — rise to power in the land of Goethe and Beethoven? What persuaded millions of ordinary Germans to embrace him and his doctrine of hatred? How did this “most unlikely pretender to high state office” achieve absolute power in a once democratic country and set it on a course of monstrous horror?

        A host of earlier biographers (most notably Alan Bullock, Joachim Fest and Ian Kershaw) have advanced theories about Hitler’s rise, and the dynamic between the man and his times. Some have focused on the social and political conditions in post-World War I Germany, which Hitler expertly exploited — bitterness over the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles and a yearning for a return to German greatness; unemployment and economic distress amid the worldwide Depression of the early 1930s; and longstanding ethnic prejudices and fears of “foreignization.”

        Other writers — including the dictator’s latest biographer, the historian Volker Ullrich — have focused on Hitler as a politician who rose to power through demagoguery, showmanship and nativist appeals to the masses. In “Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939,” Mr. Ullrich sets out to strip away the mythology that Hitler created around himself in “Mein Kampf,” and he also tries to look at this “mysterious, calamitous figure” not as a monster or madman, but as a human being with “undeniable talents and obviously deep-seated psychological complexes.”

        “In a sense,” he says in an introduction, “Hitler will be ‘normalized’ — although this will not make him seem more ‘normal.’ If anything, he will emerge as even more horrific.”

        This is the first of two volumes (it ends in 1939 with the dictator’s 50th birthday) and there is little here that is substantially new. However, Mr. Ullrich offers a fascinating Shakespearean parable about how the confluence of circumstance, chance, a ruthless individual and the willful blindness of others can transform a country — and, in Hitler’s case, lead to an unimaginable nightmare for the world.

        Mr. Ullrich, like other biographers, provides vivid insight into some factors that helped turn a “Munich rabble-rouser” — regarded by many as a self-obsessed “clown” with a strangely “scattershot, impulsive style” — into “the lord and master of the German Reich.”

        • Hitler was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.” His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity. But Mr. Ullrich underscores Hitler’s shrewdness as a politician — with a “keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people” and an ability to “instantaneously analyze and exploit situations.”

        • Hitler was known, among colleagues, for a “bottomless mendacity” that would later be magnified by a slick propaganda machine that used the latest technology (radio, gramophone records, film) to spread his message. A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth” and editors of one edition of “Mein Kampf” described it as a “swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.”
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        • Hitler was an effective orator and actor, Mr. Ullrich reminds readers, adept at assuming various masks and feeding off the energy of his audiences. Although he concealed his anti-Semitism beneath a “mask of moderation” when trying to win the support of the socially liberal middle classes, he specialized in big, theatrical rallies staged with spectacular elements borrowed from the circus. Here, “Hitler adapted the content of his speeches to suit the tastes of his lower-middle-class, nationalist-conservative, ethnic-chauvinist and anti-Semitic listeners,” Mr. Ullrich writes. He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order.

        • Hitler increasingly presented himself in messianic terms, promising “to lead Germany to a new era of national greatness,” though he was typically vague about his actual plans. He often harked back to a golden age for the country, Mr. Ullrich says, the better “to paint the present day in hues that were all the darker. Everywhere you looked now, there was only decline and decay.”

        • Hitler’s repertoire of topics, Mr. Ullrich notes, was limited, and reading his speeches in retrospect, “it seems amazing that he attracted larger and larger audiences” with “repeated mantralike phrases” consisting largely of “accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future.” But Hitler virtually wrote the modern playbook on demagoguery, arguing in “Mein Kampf” that propaganda must appeal to the emotions — not the reasoning powers — of the crowd. Its “purely intellectual level,” Hitler said, “will have to be that of the lowest mental common denominator among the public it is desired to reach.” Because the understanding of the masses “is feeble,” he went on, effective propaganda needed to be boiled down to a few slogans that should be “persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.”

        • Hitler’s rise was not inevitable, in Mr. Ullrich’s opinion. There were numerous points at which his ascent might have been derailed, he contends; even as late as January 1933, “it would have been eminently possible to prevent his nomination as Reich chancellor.” He benefited from a “constellation of crises that he was able to exploit cleverly and unscrupulously” — in addition to economic woes and unemployment, there was an “erosion of the political center” and a growing resentment of the elites. The unwillingness of Germany’s political parties to compromise had contributed to a perception of government dysfunction, Mr. Ullrich suggests, and the belief of Hitler supporters that the country needed “a man of iron” who could shake things up. “Why not give the National Socialists a chance?” a prominent banker said of the Nazis. “They seem pretty gutsy to me.”

        • Hitler’s ascension was aided and abetted by the naïveté of domestic adversaries who failed to appreciate his ruthlessness and tenacity, and by foreign statesmen who believed they could control his aggression. Early on, revulsion at Hitler’s style and appearance, Mr. Ullrich writes, led some critics to underestimate the man and his popularity, while others dismissed him as a celebrity, a repellent but fascinating “evening’s entertainment.” Politicians, for their part, suffered from the delusion that the dominance of traditional conservatives in the cabinet would neutralize the threat of Nazi abuse of power and “fence Hitler in.” “As far as Hitler’s long-term wishes were concerned,” Mr. Ullrich observes, “his conservative coalition partners believed either that he was not serious or that they could exert a moderating influence on him. In any case, they were severely mistaken.”

        • Hitler, it became obvious, could not be tamed — he needed only five months to consolidate absolute power after becoming chancellor. “Non-National Socialist German states” were brought into line, Mr. Ullrich writes, “with pressure from the party grass roots combining effectively with pseudo-legal measures ordered by the Reich government.” Many Germans jumped on the Nazi bandwagon not out of political conviction but in hopes of improving their career opportunities, he argues, while fear kept others from speaking out against the persecution of the Jews. The independent press was banned or suppressed and books deemed “un-German” were burned. By March 1933, Hitler had made it clear, Mr. Ullrich says, “that his government was going to do away with all norms of separation of powers and the rule of law.”

        • Hitler had a dark, Darwinian view of the world. And he would not only become, in Mr. Ullrich’s words, “a mouthpiece of the cultural pessimism” growing in right-wing circles in the Weimar Republic, but also the avatar of what Thomas Mann identified as a turning away from reason and the fundamental principles of a civil society — namely, “liberty, equality, education, optimism and belief in progress.”
        https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/28/books/hitler-ascent-volker-ullrich.html

        Lots of reasons he got in. One of them was that he was a mesmerizing speaker. Dazzling performances and gripping elocution. Say what you like or don’t like about him but he was the consumate public orator aside from Seneca (by heresay).

He already told them he would cut the camera if necessary. LOL

    Roy in Nipomo in reply to puhiawa. | November 18, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    I can see it now: a couple of mics available (only one active at a time); each reporter given, say, 60 seconds to ask a question, then that mic gets turned off (even if it is in the middle of the question) and President/spokesperson answers (if the question is complete) and/or goes on to the next person. They carefully explain to the other reporters that this “rule” is due to Mr Acosta’s actions.

      Bucky Barkingham in reply to Roy in Nipomo. | November 19, 2018 at 7:27 am

      Name it “The Acosta Rule” just so all then others don’t forget who to credit.

      60 seconds? That’s an eternity! These questions aren’t being made up on-the-spot; they can write them well in advance.

      – Give them 5-10 seconds to ask the question, enforced by a dead mic at the end of that time. No multi-part questions.

      – 5 more seconds for a single followup question.

      Not done talking when the mic goes dead? Too bad; “Next question!”. This would increase the amount of questions by 5x-10x, and reduce the false-premise and debate crap to near nothing.

Next time Acosta touches a woman without her consent, or denies an intern her job to moderate shared time and civil behavior, Trump should make him sit in the corner and tell him to think about what he did wrong.

Had the same problem in our archery club. For standings we average the best three Royal Round scores, each Round combining 6 shots at 20 yards, again at 30 yards, and again at 40 yards. 90 points max (18 bullseyes at 5 pts each).

Its assumed you start and complete an entire round, either from the 20 yard line on back, or from 40 on in.

40 30 20 or 20 30 40.

But the 40 is obviously hardest. Most rounds live and die from how you shoot at the 40.

But 2 of our archers decided “there is nothing in the rules” to prevent you from starting at the 40 and not counting it till you got a set of 6 shots you liked. Bad 40? Dont bother shooting the 30 and 20, just start a “new” round.

It was unethical. It was unsportsmanlike. But there was no specific rule banning it. Until the regional archery marshal (referee) got wind of it.

Them we got A WHOLE BUNCH OF RULES that governed everything we could do on the range, a host of inconveniences meant to block all kinds of imaginary rule lawyering and “exploits”.

Needless to say, those two archers (waves to Holly and Jeff) turned what was an enjoyable Sunday afternoon hobby into a chore.

We buried their bodies in a spill pond somewhere in Kentucky (that’s a joke, Rags).

That’s my longwinded way of saying I agree (from experience) with the Professor. The MSM is the victim here, they will loathe Acosta for this. And Karma is just getting warmed up.

    They won’t loathe The Accoster. They’ll honor him.

    Besides: Do you really think this stunt wasn’t coordinated with the rest of the leftist hacks in the room before The Accoster pulled this?

    A new accoster will appear tomorrow.

      We’ll see how much they honor him when the cameras get permanently pulled.

      Or when the pressers get reduced to 15 minutes, twice a month, with most of the questions given to non-traditional/small media outlets.

      Picture the President calling on 3 bloggers in a row, carefully and completely answering their questions, and then saying “Thanks for coming!” to everyone else and walking away from the podium, taking Sanders with him. Heh.

    rdmdawg in reply to Fen. | November 18, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    We should dub these ‘The Acosta Rules’, never let them forget.

    This current batch of ignorant White House reporters have better access to President Trump than any others in many decades. It isn’t as if the press actually uses this access to ‘do good.’ With Obama, they merely cheered him on and were slavishly devoted to him and his cause. They even joined in common cause with obummer once to chase a fellow reporter out, one who dared ask a question out of turn.

      Paul In Sweden in reply to rdmdawg. | November 19, 2018 at 4:25 am

      I was thinking along those lines too. My first thought was a bit vulgar but shortened without an ‘@’ adjective for the CNN entertainer; I would simply term them the Acosta WH Press Pool Conduct Rules.

    dunce1239 in reply to Fen. | November 19, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    The old , “be careful what you wish for” thing.

Jim Acosta’s “hard pass,” that gives him privileged access to the White House

There’s part of the problem. Stop treating everyday nobodies like people who merit privileges. If you treat them like they’re something special, pretty soon they’ll start believing it, and then start demanding to be treated like princesses.

If you don’t let it start, you won’t have to do anything to end it, either.

Nobody gets a pass until after a body search. Every time. That should cut down congestion considerably. Call it the Accoster Rule and sit back to watch the fireworks.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | November 19, 2018 at 1:09 am

    You’re writing as if these passes are some sort of perk handed out as a favor. They’re not. Common sense says any frequent flier at the White House should have the full check done once and be issued a pass. Putting them through the whole rigmarole every time is just stupid; it wastes time and money on both sides.

    There’s also the risk that the reporters you want there will decide it’s too much hassle and stop coming. Or even that they’ll band together and boycott the White House until the passes are restored. And Trump doesn’t want that because he wants and needs the coverage just like every president before him has. If he doesn’t then why bother having them? The only reason these briefings and conferences exist is because the president wants them.

Trump should redesign the press conferences.

End the hard pass concept and only allow select reporters to access the press conference on specific days. If a reporter misbehaves then he will never be allowed to return and no reporters from that news organization shall be allowed access for 1 month.

    Paul In Sweden in reply to ConradCA. | November 19, 2018 at 4:41 am

    Yeah, eliminate the hard pass. Grant press access on a first come first served basis with daily security checked and access granted by retired TSA agents.

It all could have been so easy. “Yes it was entirely instinctual. I did it.”

Possibly I’m wrong, but on the other hand I’m not the only man alive who has sisters. Who can give as good as they can take. I’m not advocating abuse. Not at all. But …

I should shut up now. I’m going to have to see my sister at Christmas.

    Obie1 in reply to Arminius. | November 19, 2018 at 6:30 am

    My sister, all 5’6″ and 110 pounds of her, would have cold cocked the guy the second he laid his hands on her (I’ve seen her do it).

    You’re not wrong. As Peterson says, every conflict between men has the implicit threat of violence on the table. And men tend to check themselves because if they go too far they can expect to catch an overhand right.

    Bill Burr says the same in his comedy act. On the drive home after getting our ass beat we think “yah maybe I shouldnt have said that, that was out of bounds.

    Somewhere in his upbringing, Acosta popped off but escaped a well-deserved ass kicking, likely from some idiot school administrator, and so we are subjected to his douchebaggery today.

    But this may make you smile. From a better era. Buzz Aldrin lands a right hook a metrosexual Acosta wannabe.

    https://youtu.be/BbZlf4KDnGA

I must be the only one who sees the long game here.

Trump should put Accosta front and center, provoke him, let him be the ass he is. Provoke him to be the king of jack asses. He has no talent as a journalist and will surely not fail in his role.

It sets precedence. What goes around will come around when the GOP loses the oval office.

Allowing the POTUS to snuff detractors is exactly the playing field dems would LOVE to inherit from Trump. Don’t give it to them. Further, Trump should let more of the nutbag loonies (aka left wing bloggers) in along with legit bloggers from conservative sites as well. Then let Dems be the ones to attempt to declare bloggers to not be legitimate.

Once you open that gate and give bloggers equal footing with the sycophant press, it will be tough to close that door.

This is a prime opportunity and he’s squandering it.

It seems that once the White House creates rules of conduct the reporters will all be suing over which rules infringe on their first amendment rights and the White House risks being in court every other week.

    They have no first amendment rights. The judge admitted that.

    When the first lawsuit is filed, end the briefings and hand out news releases or refer reporters to Twitter. There is no law mandating White House access, and I’d like to see a district court judge find such a right in the “penumbra” of the First Amendment. Journalists have no more rights than the rest of us; they are granted access by sufferance of the president. I was a journalist for many years, and I didn’t lose rights when I changed careers.

My proposed Rule 1: “Each press conference shall start with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Members of the press are not required to recite the Pledge if they do not support it; however, the Rules of Decorum require that all present stand for the Pledge. Anyone refusing to stand during the Pledge will be removed.”

Then the White House should make sure that it has a camera pointed at, and recording, during the Pledge.

The press meltdown will be exquisite. But, Acosta wanted clear rules and now he’ll have them.

Ask one question at a time (and keep it short)

No follow-up questions

No personal opinions

No debating

Respect the other journalists and briefer

    5 to 10 seconds for each question, enforced by a dead mic at the end of that time. 5 seconds for a single followup question. Not done talking when the mic goes dead? “Next question!”

Since there is SOOOOoooooo much ignorance, bullshit, and hair-aflame over this TRO, I’m going to present a little short-course.

A TRO, globally, (a question I’ve posed with no response from anyone, especially instant experts who are retired civil servants) is designed to reinstate the status quo existing prior to a controversy, pending the outcome of litigation.

A TRO under most rules of procedure only lasts 14 days, and generally MUST name a hearing date within that time for a possible “permanent injunction” during the pendency of the matter.

Often, and remarkably, a TRO application can be made “ex parte”, meaning that there is only one party before the court. In this case, both parties were present for a hearing on the application. The judge heard evidence, citation to law, and argument from both. He ruled to grant the 14 TRO, restoring…VERY narrowly…Acosta’s “hard pass” on the predicates we know.

I’ll try to answer any respectful questions now…

    As you are aware, my position on this TRO is that it lacked a critical requirement for the issuance of a TRO, which is that the petitioner is likely to suffer immediate, irreparable damage if the action is not immediately restrained and the original status quo returned. Can you please point out what immediate, irreparable damages CNN and/or Jim Acosta would likely have suffered if the TRO was not granted.

      Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | November 19, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      As YOU are aware, I’ve noted your several stupidly FALSE statements regarding the actions by this court and the standards for a TRO…

      1. that a party MIGHT prevail is stupidly false

      2. that there was no “formal hearing” was stupidly false

      3. that the judge could not have found (or did not find) immediate, irreparable damage if the TRO was not granted (he did, in fact, make that finding)

      I asked you WHY a TRO is granted on the most global level. Nada. Zip. Nothing from you didactic heinous.

      I’m not Acosta’s lawyer, and you have a more recent post by the Prof. to address your question. Try there.

    Rags: “Since there is SOOOOoooooo much ignorance, bullshit, and hair-aflame over this TRO, I’m going to present a little short-course.”

    HEY EVERYBODY SHUT UP!

    This is important. Rags has a need to tell us what blithering ignorant hysterical headless chickens we are, and remind us again how he just nailed that TRO thingy yesterday.

    This is important for him. Nod along and look chastened or he will be unbearable all week. Probably ruin Thanksgiving too.

      Fen in reply to Fen. | November 20, 2018 at 12:49 am

      “Remember way back when that Rags guy knocked that TRO whatsit out of the park?”

      Dude! I was actually in the room when it went down!

      “WOAH! Way cool. What was it like? Did you try to speak to him? Did he respond?”

      Oh hell no. Everyone was just so stunned. Milhouse was rendered speechless by the magnificence of his intellect. Fen built a statue to Rags out of ASCI then tweaked twice and fainted. I just remember this deafening silence, like a thunderclap as Rag’s points just sailed over our heads. We hadn’t yet put together the full meaning but we were keenly aware of being included in such a momentous moment “

Effective immediately, the White House should take questions only from Jim Acosta. Let him blunder and bloviate. He’ll go on for five minutes, and the White House can respond with one word answers, followed by “Do you have any other questions Mr. Acosta?”

As soon as Jim Acosta has no more questions, the speaker should simply say, “Since Mr. Acosta has no more questions, this press event is concluded”, and walk out.

After a couple of days with the rest of the WHPC being shut out and denied their precious face time, they will treat Mr. Acosta to an old-fashioned Blanket Party, and business can return to normal.

Three words: Assigned Random Seating

Put Acosta in the back row, and start the next presser by telling him that the next time he puts his hands on one of the women that works there he’ll be dragged out on his ass.

Dig up older issues of the New York Times and you will find them singing the praises of Mussolini and not in book reviews!

Don’t call on Acosta, and/or move him to the back at the room.

The press corps – indeed, the whole nation – would be better served to NOT have a written code for decorum. Once you go to a written code, it will only grow and grow and grow as the participants look for loopholes and other things not expressly commanded or forbidden. A written code will eventually (and not all that distantly) deflect the press conference from its intent and purpose.

At the very least, the WH and its press office should announce to the press corps that they do not want establish any restraints on the press through a written code, but in order to allow the free-wheeling that is currently enjoyed, the press itself is going to have to be decorous.

With such an announcement, it is certain that some press rep will yell the question “what do you mean by decorous?” To which the reply is “that’s exactly why we don’t want to have to resort to a written code.”

Once again progressives not liking customs and traditions are forcing the government into coming up with written rules and regulations.

It’s a taste of what they’d do if they ever win the presidency, Hose and Senate. One will need a pettifogger to do anything so as to be sure they’re obeying the law, and likely there’ll be a clause to make sure they’re not obeying ALL of the law.

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