Social Question

chyna's avatar

The White House has barred reporter Jim Acosta with CNN from reporting from the White House. Should reporters be banned from asking hard hitting questions?

Asked by chyna (42185points) 1 month ago from iPhone

Sarah Sanders said he pushed a White House employee who was trying to take his microphone from him. He says it’s not true, that Trump was trying to stop his questions. What is actually going on here? Are the reporters going too far, or is the White House dodging questions and suppressing the truth?

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56 Answers

LadyMarissa's avatar

There’s ONLY a problem when trump feels uncomfortable being truthful…aka dodging questions in order to suppress the truth!!!

janbb's avatar

There is video showing that Sanders is lying and that that’s not what happened. Trump is a bully and a scared bully who is lashing out. A free press is essential to the preservation of democracy.

Mariah's avatar

Feel free to watch for yourself what happened: https://twitter.com/AynRandPaulRyan/status/1060341414943281152

This is just another example of the Trump administration continuing its already long history of suppressing the free press.

josie's avatar

The key word here is should.
The answer is probably not.
If I were the President, and I thought a particular reporter was getting into the habit of giving speeches rather than asking questions, I would simply not call on them during the Q and A.
Or just leave the room if people started shouting out of turn.

LadyMarissa's avatar

IF you can’t be man enough to answer a few tough questions, you should NOT be qualified to be president!!!

canidmajor's avatar

The WH seems to be working toward the kind of press conferences with a few invited “journalists” who ask from a carefully curated list of approved questions. No live TV coverage, and a summary from Sanders presented to the public.
So much for a free press.

kritiper's avatar

No. Once again, Trump is trying to establish himself in the eyes of all, as King.

mazingerz88's avatar

The really hard question is why do trump still keep getting support from Republicans? Maybe they’re not Republicans anymore but trump cult members.

They’re essential and there is only so much clear headed Americans can do to stop trump. He thinks this is what his supporters love for him to do. I don’t think it’s really his fault at this point.

flutherother's avatar

The White House said Acosta was banned because he “put his hands on a young woman” during the Trump news conference. This doesn’t even deserve the dignity of being called a lie as it is so blatantly false. Acosta asked Trump a very pertinent question about the Mueller investigation and Trump responded by insulting the man in public and then revoking his security credentials to deny him access to the White House.

It is an attempt to silence the Press which is traditionally free in the United States and it once again raises the question of why Trump is so sensitive about Mueller’s investigation. What does he have to hide?

Jaxk's avatar

Just a couple of points. The question was not intended to get an answer but rather a ‘when did you stop beating your wife’ kind of question. The White House reporters are not supposed to be opinion journalists but rather reporters. When they lose their objectivity and begin arguing opinions they have no right to be there. The reporter did put his hand on the Intern however gently. In this hotly polarized environment had it been the other way around Democrats would have been screaming for charges of assault.

Everyone is pushing for Trump to be more respectful. I’d like to see that as well but it should work both ways. The question was asked and answered. If they don’t like the answer it doesn’t give them the right to make a speech. Let it go and move on.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Jaxk Shouldn’t a US President be formidable enough to be able to answer all sorts of questions including rude and baiting inquiries?

In this case, whatever that reporter asked about, it was trump who put it out there. Why can’t he deal with it?

Yellowdog's avatar

The questions asked had lies as a premise.

Collusion with Russia, racial remarks, some whole new accusation—there is no evidence for, but is asked to plant a question, or doubt, in the minds of viewers.

Also, it is against all the rules of decorum to incessantly take time on your soapbox when there were others present who had LEGITIMATE questions to be asked or reported on.

In the few, not so significant reporting jobs I had in college and immediately after, I’d’ve been pulled from any assignment or beat I had, if I had conducted myself that way.

flutherother's avatar

@Yellowdog The question Acosta asked and which Trump answered was “are you concerned about indictments coming down as a result of the Russia investigation” to which Trump replied that he wasn’t concerned as it was a hoax.

There was absolutely no reason for Trump to become angry and to ban Acosta as a result of this exchange. Trump wants to bully and ban reporters to keep them off this subject and I don’t think that is acceptable. You have to wonder why it is such a sensitive subject for Trump.

ucme's avatar

Watched it at the time & as I said then, what an extraordinary & hilarious spectacle the entire press conference was, like or loathe the big guy, he is pure comedy gold.

Demosthenes's avatar

Really this just came down to two narcissists butting heads. Of course Trump looks like the loser now that he’s made Acosta into the victim. We’ve never had a president this petulant, so it was unlikely that any previous president would react this way. Just more drama from the WH.

Patty_Melt's avatar

A brief twitter post is your evidence?
I watched the entire video on YouTube. The President was answering questions, and actually answered Jim’s, plus responded to what was a statement rather than a question.
Jim was rude, and out of line. Only one other reporter ignored the rules of etiquette. Both she and Jim were admonished. The rest went smoothly.
I swear, you people listen to chicken little and you will never come out from under your beds.
Watch the full interview.
I would love to link it for you, but my phone won’t do that.
It is easy to find.

LadyMarissa's avatar

It amazes me how we ALL can watch the same clip & see it 20 different ways!!!

seawulf575's avatar

I have seen a 5 second clip. I didn’t see all that led up to that, nor did I see what happened after. What I saw in the 5 second clip wasn’t much of anything. I saw Costa refusing to allow the POTUS to move on to another journalist. I thought that was a bit bold of him…disrespectful. I saw a young lady walk forward to try taking the microphone away from Costa and he refused to give it to her, possibly blocking her arm at one point. Not what I would say was a “push”. Not much else to comment on.

Patty_Melt's avatar

You can view it on YT. Don’t search Acosta, you get massive shorts not at all connected.
Search Trump November 2018, and you will see a video just over an hour long.
POTUS was composed, seemed tired, actually.
The Jim incident falls around 9 to 12 minutes in. Other clips have a better view of the physical contact. There was contact, a bit exaggerated by some, but to me any would have been wrong under the circumstances.

JLeslie's avatar

I think the reporters sometimes go too far. They of course should be allowed to ask hard hitting questions, and be able to ask follow up questions if they believe an answer Trump gives is untrue, but Trump is there answering questions, and the President is trying to give multiple reporters a chance to ask questions. Trump could just not answer anything if he wanted too. I do find it very annoying that a lot of reporters don’t accept President Trump’s answers. I don’t mean Trump is always right, far from it, I mean, he is giving his answer, and if it’s fucked up, report that. Too often, they ask a hard question, and the president answers, and then the reporter asks the same thing three times.

As far as Acosta touching the woman, she committed a battery. He did touch her to keep her hand away, but she was the one who committed the battery initially. That any news organization is editing that clip and painting him as accosting her is despicable. But, he does go too far sometimes with his questions I think, it’s redundabt and annoying. I thought that about Jorge Ramos previously, and I’m sure there are others.

mazingerz88's avatar

How can one not make skin contact if you’re still talking and someone tries to get the microphone like you’re a freakin kid?

This fake president is such a brat, so weak minded and such a coward he couldn’t handle aggressive questioning. He hides behind his position of power, playing the victim. Pathetic.

Patty_Melt's avatar

This is a White House conference, and there are protocols. Jim wasn’t asking, he was on a soapbox. Within his rant, the President answered two questions.
The rudeness was against the rest of the press, not POTUS. He did engage, address, and move on.
Jim clearly broke the rules. His ranting didn’t even make sense.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^Those were not answers. If they were real answers, Acosta might have shut up.

Stache's avatar

I watched it live as it happened. Acosta did nothing wrong. Trump was a dick as usual.

Patty_Melt's avatar

They were answers. Jim wanted different answers. Too bad.
By the way, I can remember presidents over the past thirty six years either refusing to answer questions or answering vaguely. Obama included.

Kardamom's avatar

I watched the altercation as it happened. Acosta did not push the aide, the aide grabbed the microphone from Acosta.

Hard hitting questions are the only way to get to the truth. Banning reporters is censorship, and only serves those hiding the truth.

Trump is a bully, and a baby, and doesn’t like telling the truth when it doesn’t serve him.

seawulf575's avatar

Banning reporters is not censorship. CNN can still send someone else. Just not Costa. If it is censorship you are worried about, then when CNN fails to report a full story, but only slants it, isn’t that censorship? I use CNN, but really, any news agency could fill in the blank.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Funny thing, when Obama got mad at CNN for abusive reporting, people rallied behind him. Now that he’s gone, CNN has free reign again.
Hmmmm

ucme's avatar

It has nowt to do with dodging probing questions, from the beginning he enthusiastically invited them, even joked how many had shown up.
The media, in common with just about everyone here, including non americans who seem rather too involved in their hate for him, adopt this arrogant, entitled persona & deservedly get shut down then cry about it.
This tit from CNN needs to wind his neck in & shut the fuck up, typical of the media to have double standards.

flutherother's avatar

@seawulf575 I would disagree. Banning reporters because they ask awkward questions is a form of censorship. It is the awkward questions most of us want to hear answered the easy ones are not so interesting. The president should be capable of handling difficult questions from the press without having to resort to bans.

LadyMarissa's avatar

trumpis a bully & only knows how to react in one way…bullying!!!

seawulf575's avatar

@flutherother I guess we will have to disagree. I have gone back and watched this video. Acosta asked his questions, the POTUS answered them. Acosta tried couching the questions in terms the POTUS didn’t agree with and the POTUS identified that…you and I have differeing opinions was the quote I believe. Acosta wanted to argue. The POTUS tolerated him for a couple minutes and then went to move on to other journalists. Acosta refused to give up the microphone, showing great disrespect to the POTUS AND to his fellow journalists. He then tried asking all sorts of other questions not related to his first questions. He just wanted to monopolize the meeting. That is VERY disrespectful to do to the head of a nation.
He asked a question and Trump answered it. If he didn’t ask the right question, then that is on him, not on Trump for asking to move on. Rudeness is not acceptable. If I were POTUS, I would pull his creds for that alone.

janbb's avatar

@seawulf575 I agree. Rudeness is not acceptable; “lock her up”, “throw them out”, “yay for the guy who body slammed the journalist.” Hypocrisy much?

seawulf575's avatar

@janbb when have you ever heard me say things like that? Except “throw them out” when I talk about congress and am endorsing the idea of term limits. So no, I don’t hypocrisy much. How ‘bout you?

janbb's avatar

@seawulf575 Never heard you say that but the President has frequently. That’s who I was referencing.

seawulf575's avatar

Ahh…got it. That still doesn’t excuse disrepect to the office of the POTUS and public rudeness. I’m not happy about many of the things Trump says, but I would treat him with deference in a public setting. The same goes for Obama, Bush II, Clinton, Bush I….all the way back to Eisenhower. Can’t go back any further, personally. As I always taught my kids, it is okay to disagree, it is not okay to be disagreeable. Acosta crossed that line, in my book. Trump crosses it too, and you can go back and see that I have even said that is one of the things I don’t like about him. But a reporter is not entitled to anything. The Press should be, but not the individual reporter. The press should have every right to attend press briefings and ask the POTUS questions. And make them tough questions. Don’t make them loaded questions, which is what Acosta was trying to do, but make them tough questions. That is the role of the Press. Loaded questions, for the purposes of this discussion, are those where you state an opinion, treat it like a fact, and then hold the listener accountable for arguing with it.

flutherother's avatar

@seawulf575 You have the wrong idea about the function of the media if you think it is to treat the POTUS with deference. The media’s job is to scrutinise what POTUS does and to try to shed light on what those in power might prefer to keep in the shadows. The president and the media each have roles to play in our democracy and it isn’t healthy for one to defer to the other.

You think Acosta was banned because he was disrespectful and rude to the president? Even the White House couldn’t give that as the reason. Access was removed because he had put “his hands on a young woman” according to the White House. Palpably untrue, and it seems more likely that Trump was trying to shut down questioning about the Mueller inquiry.

janbb's avatar

@flutherother As an interesting side note, my English husband and BIL had observed that British journalists and interviewers were much more hard hitting than American ones. Maybe the American ones need to or are taking lessons.

flutherother's avatar

I think that’s right. There are a number of programmes on television and radio in the UK that hold politicians to account and politicians over here accept that it is part of their job to defend their positions in public. I was under the impression that was the way it was supposed to work in the US too. What went wrong?

Patty_Melt's avatar

One more time, it was not the question which started the problem. It was the incessant nagging which followed.
A White House conference is not the same as a location event. At the site of disaster, or ribbon cutting it is mayhem, but WH conferences are different. Out of respect for EACH OTHER nobody is supposed to hog the mic.
If you look back at Obama, he would go on and on and on until half the press was asleep, then take two or three questions and leave.
“Uhhhh, nope! Nope! Gotta go now. ”

chyna's avatar

^Obama was interesting, spoke in an above 7th grade vocabulary, intelligent and didn’t lie. He spoke on the topics at hand so there didn’t need to be contentious questioning from the press to try to get the truth.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Didn’t lie? You have proof? Because sometimes he did.
Anyway, even leaders of massive countries are individuals. Personalities will be different.
Obama would be good for making audiobooks.
For a president I want someone who gets results.
Obama did evade questions.
Anyway, AGAIN Jesus Christ Trump didn’t refuse answers. He answered, and Jim wanted to nag, and preach, and rob other reporters of their time.

Stache's avatar

Why do these questions always come back to Clinton or Obama?

deflection

seawulf575's avatar

@flutherother deference means respect and honor. That is what anyone should do to the POTUS, even the media. That isn’t the same as saying they shouldn’t ask tough questions. But take the answers you are given and don’t start into an argument. If the answers are bullshit, then you step back, refocus your questions, and hold him accountable for the bullshit. But it can still be done without being combative and disrespectful.
I’m very much in line with the media holding our elected leaders accountable. Never said anything different. In fact, the biggest argument I have had is that the MSM doesn’t hold Dems to the same level of criticality as Repubs. And THAT is wrong. They should be just as intrusive, regardless of who is in office. But rudeness should not be acceptable to anyone. CNN ought to be chewing Acosta out for being that way.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@Stache, I could go further back, if you like. I was only using Obama because he is most recent in our memories.

chyna's avatar

@Patty_Melt The question isn’t about Obama, Clinton, or any other president. It’s about Trump. Please read the question again.

seawulf575's avatar

@Stache Obama and Clinton show the bias of the MSM. That is why they come back to this. This question is about the interaction between a liberal journalist and a conservative POTUS. When you open that door, it is fair game to consider “what has been done in the past? What is normal?” If you don’t like the stuff Trump does, then you should be equally as put out by Obama or Clinton doing the same thing. If you think the MSM is completely unbiased, then comparisons with Obama and Clinton shouldn’t make any difference. What I want to know is why, when Obama and Clinton are compared to events, do liberals always try to say it is wrong to make those comparisons?

Patty_Melt's avatar

I answered the question, more than once, @chyna.
I was responding specifically to Stache.

flutherother's avatar

@seawulf575 What journalists should respect and honour first and foremost is the truth. Other than that I agree with most of what you have to say.

kritiper's avatar

I’ve met Jim Acosta. He did a interview with my mother a few years ago. Nice guy!

seawulf575's avatar

@flutherother I absolutely agree….ALL the truth. But that doesn’t change how you deal with the POTUS when you are a journalist.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I guess journalists are supposed to have higher standards than the potus???

seawulf575's avatar

@LadyMarissa If you don’t like Trump’s standards, why are you supportive of others that have the same standards? Or is it just the person and not the standards?

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor sure, Acosta and CNN could battle this out in court and might even win. But what does that get? It gets his creds back, but doesn’t get him called on…ever. So CNN would battle to get creds back for Acosta knowing they are barring any chance of ever having another of their questions asked? Remember when Acosta was whining because no one ever called on him? It would go right back to that. I don’t think that is smart business for CNN. In the article you cited, Robert Sherrill was (a) not from a major news agency…a news agency that didn’t have a lot of journalists. and (b) was not given a reason for not getting his credentials. Acosta was given a reason. It might be a bullshit reason, but it is a reason. He could then take on TWO lawsuits. The first is to deal with the bullshit reason and the second is to get his credentials back. By the time that is done, Trump will be out of office and Acosta can start fresh with a new president.

flo's avatar

That wasn’t a hard hitting question whichever question it is you’re referring to. Is it the question about “invasion” one or the “Are concerned about….” one? Jim Acosta was giving his opinion re. the “invasion” or invasion and re. “Are you concerned about…? If the answer is “yes I’m very concerned” “not at all” or “somewhat concerned”, I don’t know how that’s hard hitting.

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