White House Suspends Another Reporter's Press Pass, Once Again, Raising 1st Amendment Concerns

from the not-how-it-works dept

As you'll recall, last year, the White House tried to remove CNN reporter Jim Acosta's press pass over a silly made up controversy claiming that he had "assaulted" an intern in trying to hold onto the microphone while the intern had tried to pull it away. CNN sued and a court sided with them in blocking the White House's action. Soon after, the White House released new rules, that we mentioned left them open to future 1st Amendment challenges.

Well, here we are. On Friday, the White House removed Playboy reporter Brian Karem's press pass, claiming it was about some sort of weird yelling match Karem had with ex-Trump official Sebastian Gorka at Trump's silly social media troll summit back in July. Karem immediately said he'd sue over the removal and his attorney Ted Boutrous has sent a series of letters to White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham over the last few weeks. The opening of the first one lays everything out pretty nicely.

We write on behalf of our client, Brian Karem, who serves as the White House correspondent for Playboy, in response to your August 2, 2019 letter informing of your "preliminary decision" to suspend his hard pass for 30 days, supposedly "due to [his] conduct at the press event in the Rose Garden on July 11, 2019," and giving him one business day to submit a response before you "make a final decision on the matter." We object to this arbitrary and unfair procedure threatening to deprive Mr. Karem of his constitutionally protected liberty and property interests in his hard pass, which would flatly violate the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause and the principles established by the D.C. Circuit's decision in Sherrill v. Knight, 569 F.2d 124 (D.C. Cir. 1977) and many other cases. Your invocation of the Rose Garden event weeks after it occurred and without any notice whatsoever that you were considering taking action against Mr. Karem is the opposite of due process, and is clearly pretext for punishing Mr. Karem based on his viewpoint and the content of his reporting on President Trump.

It's the "arbitrary and unfair procedure" part of the above quote that is most important. The White House can't just cook up reasons to remove someone if the real reason is they don't like his reporting (as was the case with Acosta).

In a later letter, Boutrous points out that Grisham herself has admitted to not following any basic due process, as required by the 1st Amendment:

Your email of last night revealed that you failed to conduct a reasonable investigation before reaching your preliminary decision. Among other deficiencies, you admit that you did not speak to a single witness. You did not speak to Sebastian Gorka, Jim Hanson, or any of the other individuals who are seen on video taunting and/or threatening Mr. Karem. You did not speak to any of the journalists who were standing alongside Mr. Karem in the press pen and observed firsthand what happened. Nor did you speak to Mr. Karem himself, despite his efforts to speak with you. In fact, you claimed you lack evidence that Mr. Karem made any attempt to speak with you. Enclosed with this letter are emails reflecting his efforts.

You have also elected to ignore publicly-available evidence that Mr. Gorka has trumpeted his confrontation with Mr. Karem, bragging that he took on the "fake news industrial complex," as well as evidence that the President himself viewed the events as humorous. All of this information is highly relevant to your decision, yet you have deliberately chosen to ignore it.

After suggesting that Gorka was the one who initiated and escalated the confrontation, while Karem was the one who sought to de-escalate it, Boutrous also notes the following:

The President himself has used far stronger language and imagery. Among other things, he has tweeted an image of himself wrestling a CNN icon to the ground, and stated that a congressman who body-slammed a reporter is "my kind of guy." He has also urged his supporters to "knock the hell" out of protestors at his rallies, and remarked about one protestor, "I'd like to punch him in the face." If the President's statements cannot reasonably be understood as endorsing or inciting violence, the White House cannot possibly deem Mr. Karem's offer to "go outside and have a long talk" as over the line.

None of this seemed to matter. In the official suspension notice, Grisham insists that Karem's comment to go outside and have a conversation was obviously a threatening statement.

It seems likely that Karem will now sue and we'll get yet another court to weigh in on the process by which the President (any President, not just this one...) can remove press passes.

Filed Under: 1st amendment, brian karem, free speech, jim acosta, press pass, stephanie grisham, ted boutrous


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 3:34pm

    Funny, I cant seem to find a constitutionally protected right to a White House press pass.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 11:51pm

      Re:

      Then you clearly do not understand the 1st Amendment or the law. As with Trump's Twitter feed, if the White House is opening up a place for the public or the press it must provide equal access, and not make decisions based on content. It can set up rules for who qualifies as press for a WH press pass, but it cannot base those rules on the content of the reporting.

      So, yes, there actually is a 1st amendment right to anyone who meets the criteria to get a press pass.

      This is why the court sided with Jim Acosta. Odd that you ignore that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 5:32am

      Re:

      Seriously? It's RIGHT THERE in the article! Here, I will throw you a bone:

      "...which would flatly violate the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause and the principles established by the D.C. Circuit's decision in Sherrill v. Knight, 569 F.2d 124 (D.C. Cir. 1977) and many other cases."

      Your next logical step would be to google "Sherrill v. Knight" and read.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 3:41pm

    The White House can't just cook up reasons to remove someone if the real reason is they don't like his reporting.

    Conversely, a reporter can't act like a complete asshole and flout the rules of conduct, then claim any punishment that follows is because "they just don't like what I write".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 3:49pm

      Re:

      Conversely, a President can't act like a complete asshole and flout the rules of conduct

      Fixed it for you!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 3:49pm

      Re:

      a reporter can't act like a complete asshole and flout the rules of conduct, then claim any punishment that follows is because "they just don't like what I write".

      A bit of self reflection on your thoughts toward social media's non existent anti-conservative bias?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 4:14pm

      Re:

      Conversely, a reporter can't act like a complete asshole and flout the rules of conduct, then claim any punishment that follows is because "they just don't like what I write".

      If you read the details, which you obviously did not (or, just as likely, chose to believe some incredibly one-sided sources), Karem made a joke. The only ones who acted like "complete assholes" who "flout the rules of conduct" were Gorka and his friends.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 4:54pm

        Re: Re:

        READ the details? Let's go to the videotape, brother!

        Where is the joke? Is this right here?

        Come on over here and talk to me brother, or we can go outside and have a long conversation.
        Are you threatening me now in the White House?
        I'm right here.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 5:12pm

      Re: Sup bro

      Oh look the fascist bootlicker showed up to embarrass himself all over the thread again. Took a while for your ego to heal from the last set of self inflicted wounds eh?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 5:44pm

      Re:

      "act like a complete asshole and flout the rules of conduct, then claim any punishment that follows is because "they just don't like what I write"."

      Who said that?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 3:33am

      Re:

      Any examples of people actually doing that, or is that just the strawman you have to set up to defend here?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 4:34pm

    It looks like liberal journalists are being censored, I was told it was conservative voices being censored.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      It looks like liberal journalists are being censored, I was told it was conservative voices being censored.

      It's only censorship if the government does it...

      Oh wait!!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 5:24pm

    We are all well aware of what happens when you love Bernie and CNN tells you what to do. The Secret Service should have the final word on this, that is their job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 5:28pm

      Re:

      We are all well aware of what happens when you love Bernie

      We are? What, praytell, happens if you love Bernie - other than Cadet Bonespurs will get you kicked off the press bandwagon for not supporting him?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 5:47pm

      Re:

      You become another annoying Bernie bro and people try to politely get away from you at parties?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 5:34am

        Re: Re:

        You are going to love calling Bernie "Mr. President", aren't you? It just KILLS guys like you to see that he has the most unique donations (over 2,000,000) and the most volunteers (over 1,000,000) of anyone running, including Trump! See you at the polls, loser!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:05am

          I say this as someone willing to vote for Bernie in 2020: Goddamn, you Bernie Bros may be more annoying than Trump supporters.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 12:41pm

          Re: There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth

          Bro, thanks for proving my point. I can’t wait to see the look on your face when he loses the nomination.

          Again

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 1:02pm

      Re:

      The Secret Service should have the final word on this, that is their job.

      No, it's not. Not even a little bit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobob, 20 Aug 2019 @ 5:34pm

    Uh, apparently the whitehouse can do anything it wants because the rest of congress is too spineless to do anything about conduct which is even more egregious than just banning a reporter. The rules don't matter if no is willing to hold someone accountable for breaking them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 6:19pm

    1st Amendment issue?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 6:48pm

      Re: 1st Amendment issue?

      well, it's quite a stretch to call this a First Amendment issue.
      That Amendment is specifically a restriction on Congress in lawmaking -- Not the President nor his management of government property (White House in this case).

      First Amendment says Congress can't restrict what the public/press say -- but does not imply that the public/press have open access to all Federal activities and facilities.

      Any president has complete authority and discretion to decide who may or may not access the White House... and under what conditions.

      The Office of an elected U.S. President comes with vast discretionary power in a thousand serious Federal activities.
      It is absurd to suggest that a President somehow legally lacks any arbitrary decision authority in this very trivial matter of reporter access.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 7:36pm

        Not entirely true.

        The First Amendment may only explicitly mention Congress, but the Supreme Court holds that it applies to the entirety of the federal government. It also holds that, thanks to the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, it applies to state governments as well. Thus, the government in general cannot abridge the rights of free speech and a free press.

        Where this gets tricky is that, yes, the First Amendment on its own doesn’t grant members of the media any kind of special rights or privileges. Additionally, the general public doesn’t have a First Amendment right to be on White House grounds. But where those rights don’t exist, others do — rights such as due process, which a federal court ruled the White House denied in the the case of its revoking Jim Acosta’s press pass. Whether the government engaged in some form of viewpoint discrimination based on where Acosta worked by revoking his pass, and whether that act violated the First Amendment, is still up in the air. Also: I doubt courts would be too happy with the Trump administration if it decided to boot a reporter because they’re Black or gay or disabled, never mind any combination thereof.

        So yes, there aren’t a whole lot of actual restrictions on what the White House can do in re: who to allow and deny a press pass. Then again, a White House not run by a vainglorious megalomaniac would know enough not to test the courts on such matters.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 7:36pm

        Re: a trivial 1st Amendment issue

        “It is absurd to suggest that a President somehow legally lacks any arbitrary decision authority in this very trivial matter of reporter access.”

        Whelp since they already lost one lawsuit about this very issue. I would say you’re completely full of shit. You wanna go 0 for 2 on the 1st bro?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          ANANONANA, 22 Aug 2019 @ 2:55pm

          Re: Re: a trivial 1st Amendment issue

          "very trivial matter"

          lol It's only a very trivial matter if you don't give a shit open a free press or open debate. Of course the current administration gives no shit about either.

          This is exemplified by that fact that Trump only does campaign rallies and not press conferences,

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 8:12pm

        Re: Re: 1st Amendment issue?

        That Amendment is specifically a restriction on Congress in lawmaking -- Not the President nor his management of government property (White House in this case).

        Were that an accurate reading of the first amendment then no-one but congress could violate it, as any member or agency of the government could violate free speech with impunity simply because they're not congress, and as that is clearly not the case...

        First Amendment says Congress can't restrict what the public/press say -- but does not imply that the public/press have open access to all Federal activities and facilities.

        Yes and no. The press and/or public don't have open access to federal property or events, but if they are allowed in(say for a press briefing) then they cannot be excluded due to legally protected speech as that would be a violation of the first.

        Any president has complete authority and discretion to decide who may or may not access the White House... and under what conditions.

        As noted above only in the original invitation, once people are there or have been invited then they do not have the ability to just boot people on a whim.

        The Office of an elected U.S. President comes with vast discretionary power in a thousand serious Federal activities.

        Violating the first amendment in punishing someone simply because they said mean things about you that were entirely legal speech is not one of them however.

        It is absurd to suggest that a President somehow legally lacks any arbitrary decision authority in this very trivial matter of reporter access.

        It's 'absurd' to believe that the president is bound by the first amendment? Have fun with that idea, just keep in mind that the argument has already been made and rejected once by a court.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 8:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: 1st Amendment issue?

          OK... so how many journalists in the U.S. are not issued White House Press-Passes due to "arbitrary" criteria of the White House and despite the 1st Amendment ??

          Don't you care about the many thousands of eager journalists who have been totally denied any White House access over the past century ??

          Almost all journalists are denied White House access, no matter who the President is.
          By focusing on just two obscure reporters in Trump's era -- you miss the big picture entirely.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 9:19pm

            The point isn’t about which reporters are denied a press pass from the outset.

            The point is about reporters who were issued a press pass, then had it revoked for completely arbitrary reasons without due process.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 9:35pm

            Comparing apples to great danes

            Love the faux outrage/indignation. It's not enough to cover up the fact that you've ignored both my explanation and the explanations of others why and how you're wrong, but it is at least entertaining, so that's something at least.

            That many individuals do not get a press pass is irrelevant, once someone has been granted a press pass there are limitation in place on the government about how and when they may revoke them, and in retaliation for legal speech and/or without due process are both violations of those restrictions.

            As Mike put it in the article covering the last time the WH got slapped down when they pulled this stunt:

            'The Constitutional elements here are pretty clear. The White House is allowed to set non-content-based rules for who gets a press pass, but once they do that, they absolutely cannot remove a press pass for anything having to do with content, and they can't simply make up rules to remove someone without any form of due process.'

            By focusing on just two obscure reporters in Trump's era -- you miss the big picture entirely.

            The big picture being 'Look, a distraction!'? I mean, it was a valiant attempt to downplay the White House pulling press passes because they don't like people, but it doesn't change the fact that the WH is pulling press passes because they don't like people, have been slapped down once for it already, and are likely to be slapped down again should the matter go to court again.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 11:32pm

            Re: 0 4 2 on 1st Amendment issue

            “By focusing on just two obscure reporters in Trump's era...”

            One of whom won a lawsuit that you conveniently keep forgetting about who is basically a household name. Other that that yeah totally obscure and unimportant.

            You wanna go for strike 3 bro?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Mike Masnick (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 11:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 1st Amendment issue?

            OK... so how many journalists in the U.S. are not issued White House Press-Passes due to "arbitrary" criteria of the White House and despite the 1st Amendment ??

            None. If it's arbitrary and based on the content of their work they cannot be denied. The White House is allowed to set standards, but those standards must be applied fairly and cannot be based on protected speech. The standards could be based on things like "size of audience" or some sort of other non-speech-based objective criteria.

            So the answer to your question is that no one has been arbitrarily denied a pass. The White House has rules that it must follow.

            Don't you care about the many thousands of eager journalists who have been totally denied any White House access over the past century ??

            They don't exist. You have no clue what you're talking about -- as already demonstrated by people debunking your false claims in your first comment and you should probably stop digging. Seriously.

            Almost all journalists are denied White House access, no matter who the President is.

            This is false.

            By focusing on just two obscure reporters in Trump's era -- you miss the big picture entirely.

            These are not obscure journalists and there is no big picture missed here. You should maybe shut up before you look even worse.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            z! (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 6:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 1st Amendment issue?

            Almost all journalists are denied White House access, no matter who the President is.

            They are not "denied" access if they never ask for it. Most commenters seem to have missed that, and I'll posit that of the 33K+ full-time reporters in the US, less than 5% have even asked for the pass.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 3:05am

      Re: 1st Amendment issue?

      You can’t even troll properly bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GS (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 10:22pm

    What the you mean silly made-up controversy? I saw the video myself he assaulted that woman. He put his hands on her without her permission, that is assault. You want to know where the anti-conservative bias in the internet lies? Take a hard look in the mirror.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 11:33pm

      Re:

      What the you mean I know didn’t you article the read bro?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 11:35pm

      Re:

      LOL. You are not a serious person.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 4:14am

      Re:

      Bias? Bias is not the right word. Lunatic fringe, that’s Techdirt

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 6:11am

      Re:

      Wait - are you talking about when Cadet Bonespurs pushed the model up against the wall and kissed her? Or when he grabbed the pussy? Or when he forced his (current) wife to have sex without consent? Or was it when he forced his mistress to get an abortion?

      Be specific man!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:23am

      Re:

      He put his hands on her without her permission, that is assault.

      "I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything." - Donald Trump - being the asshole that he is

      When that matters, I'll give a shit about what you think.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 3:11pm

      Re:

      "He put his hands on her without her permission, that is assault."

      By that logic, she assaulted him first.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 12:00am

    can we suspend the white house?

    let the black house answer

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 4:08am

    I think if journalists act like children

    they should be treated like them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 5:27am

    "Playboy reporter" <---oxymoron

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 5:38am

    Covering the White House, and having the access a press pass provides, isn't a right. That's a privilege.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 6:13am

      Re:

      Covering the White House, and having the access a press pass provides, isn't a right. That's a privilege.

      Just like driving a car!

      And just like driving a car, the police can't take away your license for giving them the finger. See how that works?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      Which privilege do you need to not bother reading the article?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 7:28am

      For future reference:

      It helps if you read the article before commenting, less chance of looking foolish if you make a claim/argument that's already been rebutted.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 10:45am

    This site is such a leftist rag. So bias, and clearly has TDS. It's one thing for a Reporter to do their job, Professionally!!! It's another to just be a complete jacka$$ with TDS.

    (TDS=Trump Derangement Syndrome)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 12:32pm

      Re:

      [Asserts facts not in evidence.]

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 12:48pm

      Re: so bias should be in ALL CAPS bro

      Do you copy paste on every leftist rag you visit. Or is that a unique insult that just happens to sound like all the other RWNJ garbage?

      RWNJ= River Walk New Jersey

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 11:16am

    Trump is not preventing anyone from reporting on him

    There are no restrictions on any of the press about what they can report on him. Trump or any other president has the right to restrict who is in the press pool. In fact, Trump could just decide not to have a press conference, or to have a press conference to an empty room and make the reporters watch a video feed. There is no First Amendment right for a reporter to even have access to the White House press briefing. The briefings only started sometime in the 1960s with the advent of television.

    The Press has the right to report on the president. They do not have the right to force access.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 12:49pm

      Re: Trump is not preventing anyone from reading the article

      Why is it that all the useful idiots like you never actually read the article?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Trump is not preventing anyone from reporting on him

      You're conflating denial of a press pass in the first instance (which would be OK provided it's done in a way that is viewpoint-neutral and comports with due process, see Sherrill v. Knight for the criteria for that), with retaliatory revocation of said press pass based on First Amendment protected activity (which is NOT OK).

      Just because something's a privilege doesn't mean the government can take it away from you for an unconstitutional reason. (Imagine getting your driver's license revoked for writing an editorial in the local paper criticizing the local police.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TFG, 21 Aug 2019 @ 2:43pm

      Re: Trump is not preventing anyone from reporting on him

      The Press has the right to report on the president. They do not have the right to force access.

      And once granted access (which this reporter was) the President does not have the right to revoke that access arbitrarily, or for reasons related to the viewpoints of the Press in question.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 12:18pm

    A consultation with White House historians isn’t necessary to determine whether the lovely greenery of the White House Rose Garden had ever before heard the line, “For the record, he’d kick your punk a--!”

    I would bet a million dollars that LBJ said much worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 3:38pm

    ...hostilities between presidents and the press have been an ongoing battle since George Washington.

    Our second President didn’t have a great record with the press. In fact, it was downright un-American. John Adams was so concerned about a wayward press, that he signed into law the 1798 "Sedition Act", which made publishing anything critical of the government illegal.
    How's that for a real constitutional issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 4:25pm

      It is true: Both the Sedition Act and this revocation come into direct conflict with the first amendment. The only reason that the Sedition Act was never nullified by the Supreme Court was that it was allowed to expire two years before the Supreme Court ever nullified a law.

      It should never be suggested that Trump is the only president whose administration has done something that crossed legal boundaries. In fact, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find an administration that never crossed a legal boundary. William Henry Harrison, perhaps, who was only President for a month?

      But doing something unconstitutional is not any better just because someone else got away with it before. They're both bad, and both should never have happened.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:29pm

      'Yes, but what about that over there?!'

      The fact that past presidents have shown moments of hostility towards the press does not excuse the one currently doing so, nor that he is quite possibly the most hostile towards the press, never passing up a chance to attack and undermine them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2019 @ 9:24am

    Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said "There must be decorum at the White House.”

    So Trump is moving out?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2019 @ 6:16pm

      Trump has the best decorum. It's huge. He's hired the best decorators, you're gonna see. They threw out all of the old decorum that Cheatin' Obama put in the White House and are putting in all-new decorum. Made in America. He's gonna make the White House great again.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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