November 16, 2018

How Trump won the Acosta lawsuit.

You don't alway win by winning. That's too easy. The genius move is to win by losing.

AP reports on Trump's reaction to the temporary restraining order that Acosta won against him:
[The judge] ordered Acosta’s pass returned for now in part because he said CNN was likely to prevail on its Fifth Amendment claim — that Acosta hadn’t received sufficient notice or explanation before his credentials were revoked or been given sufficient opportunity to respond before they were....

“In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future.”

Speaking to reporters after the decision, Trump said, “If they don’t listen to the rules and regulations, we will end up back in court and we will win.” He later added: “We want total freedom of the press. It’s very important to me, more important to me than anybody would believe. But you have to act with respect when you’re in the White House, and when I see the way some of my people get treated at press conferences, it’s terrible. So we’re setting up a certain standard, which is what the court is requesting.”
The judge framed it as a matter of process, which justifies Trump issuing a set of rules of decorum. I assume the rules will include a requirement that a reporter who has received a response (whether it's to his liking or not) must relinquish the microphone, that there can be no physical interference with a staff member who reaches out to take the microphone, and that one must stop talking once the President (or press secretary) has moved on to the next questioner.

Any complaints about these rules and the prescribed consequences of violating them can be met with pieties about adhering to the judge's ruling. Things must be done in an orderly way — in the press room and in a system of due process. Any complaints premised on freedom of the press will be met with statements like "We want total freedom of the press" and we want perfect due process. So here you are, here's notice of our rules of decorum. And that should be the end of the kind of questioning Acosta has become famous for. Trump wins.

73 comments:

n.n said...

The Acosta warning.

Jupiter said...

It seems that the judge based his ruling, which is temporary, on the idea that Acosta's White House access pass is a thing of value, of which he cannot be deprived without due process. But how did it come to be his? Can anyone who asks for one receive one? Or are they like security clearances, granted to facilitate a government purpose, to be withdrawn when they no longer serve that purpose?

sane_voter said...

Just have Trump standing at the podium as normal, with the questions coming in from the reporters remotely using skype or Google meet as the president calls on them. The reporters can be in their PJ's in their kitchen if they so desire.

sane_voter said...

All the other reporters will be muted unless they are asking the question, and once asked, he answers and then chooses the next reporter. NO muss, no fuss, no tussling over a mic with a female intern, or rude/unecessary follow-up questions.

rcocean said...

Shouldn't Trump give "the rules" to the Judge to see if they're in accordance with the Constitution?

After all, he's in charge.

Earnest Prole said...

There's no success like failure
And failure's no success at all

gilbar said...

Jupiter wondered:
Acosta's White House access pass is a thing of value, of which he cannot be deprived without due process. But how did it come to be his? Can anyone who asks for one receive one?

Like I keep Saying, 'bona fide' journalists have been issued Titles of Nobility; which afford Them, and Only Them the right to use their property. They PERSONALLY OWN the Freedom of the Press. It is for Them, AND ONLY THEM; 'cause of their Constitutionally provided Titles of Nobility. Read the Constitution people! It's right next to the right of circuit judges in the 9th district to overrule the rest of the county

chickenlittle said...

So how are reporters like Acosta supposed to make a show of "speaking truth to power"? How are reporters supposed to "afflict the comfortable" -- comfortable like Trump?

Rob said...

How nice it would have been if Trump had said, "Acosta? I hardly know her."

Leland said...

Rule 1) No shouting questions

bagoh20 said...

Bullshit. This is the excuse given after the judge did what he could to appear to not be kissing Trump's ass, which should never be part of the reasoning.

The pass did not belong to Acosta, and the right to be their is also not his. That right belongs to the press and arguably CNN, but not a particular reporter.

Trump will prevail in the end, but it was a dishonest decision intended to satisfy politics and image, not the law. Can someone grow some balls besides Trump himself. They say some people suck all the oxygen out of the room. Maybe Trump sucks up all the balls - so to speak.

Paddy O said...

Does Trump have to call on Acosta?

Mark said...

Draconian rules always look good.

Hagar said...

And once more,: Put the swimming pool back, or for Trump an indoor putting green, and move the press scrum of to some other location, away from the White House.

gspencer said...

What we need is the wisdom of ol’ Judge Roy Bean,

”First we'll have a fair trial, then we'll hang him”

Give Accosta a due process hearing, then take away the press pass.

Sam L. said...

I am NOT tired of Trump's winning.

Mike Sylwester said...

This was a missed opportunity for Trump to use again his expression so-called judge.

Joe said...

The entire notion of the press getting a privileged seat at the table has always rubbed me the wrong way. I doubt the reimbursements the press pays for offices in the White House and seats on Air Force One reflect actual costs (esp opportunity costs.) I say, kick them all out. When the White House wants to give a briefing, ANYONE can stand in line. (And those camping in line would be arrested for loitering.)

n.n said...

Rule #1. Respect your host.

Rule #2. Respect your fellow journalists/journolists.

Rule #3. Respect the female staff to do their work.

D. said...

Replace the female intern with a 6'5" 250 lb biker dude.

Mark said...

AA again misses the point entirely.

Whether Trump "won" or not (deciding "winners" and "losers" has always been a quite shallow way of looking at things), the Constitution lost.

Matthew Sablan said...

We'll see if that actually works. I mean, I would think that behavior that would've gotten you thrown out of an IHOP would be enough to lose your hard pass, but, hey, I'm not a judge.

D. said...

Get TSA to do screenings of the "fifth column" before they enter the White House.

Mr. Majestyk said...

The rules of decorum are for everyone at future press conferences. Although they are a good idea, they are not what the judge was talking about when he said Trump had to give Acosta a fair hearing (notice, an opportunity to present his case, and a written statement of reasons) before taking away his press pass.

Mark said...

Due process is not a right per se. It applies only in connection with something. On the due process claim, what was Acosta deprived of? His life? No. His liberty? No -- he wasn't detained and no one has a vested freedom to enter upon secured federal property. His property? Again, an entry pass is not Acosta's property, just as the microphone was not his property.

This is a dangerous precedent set by this "judge."

Mark said...

Acosta was given all the "process" that was due. Which was none.

Limited blogger said...

CNN said they won

FIDO said...

Put out all the rules of conduct...and also give Acosta a chance to present his case and remove his press pass.

Use the articles by the WaPo, The Atlantic and subpoena the various CNN people who have said critical things about how unprofessional Acosta is acting.

Gov98 said...

I get Althouse’s point. Many years ago Montana had a reasonable and proper speed limit then some dick lawyer came through and said it was unconstitutionally vague and he won... but Montana now has a speed limit. So everyone else lost. Lawyers. Winning by screwing it up for everyone else for 2000 years. Now the press has “decorum” rules. Here’s your speed limit losers haha said Nelson Muntz.

Jonty30 said...

Trump also won because he can demand respectful questions and, if they aren't respectful, they will not be answered.

billy.harvey said...

Call on everyone else first. If none of the others have a question, conclude the briefing.

TestTube said...

Well, I was wrong to some degree -- They are using this as an excuse to change the rules a bit.

But yes, Trump wins, and Trump will continue to win any confrontations with Acosta.

There seems to be an ecological niche for "White House Press Jerk". Helen Thomas filled it for many years, but now she has left, Acosta is stepping up.

One jerk and just one jerk.

stevew said...

You can't out Trump Trump.

Chuck said...

Althouse YOU said that Acosta “hit a woman.” If that were remotely true, this federal court result would never have obtained. The simple fact is that you were wrong, and Jim Acosta NEVER “hit a woman.”

You owe an explanation and an apology for that inexplicable indiscretion.

Paul said...

Bravo President Trump! Master stroke!

Jupiter said...

These Democrats just can't seem to keep their hands off the White House interns.

Jupiter said...

"Now Jim, if Priscilla lets you hold the microphone again ..."

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Izzat "kill two old rules for every new rule made" still a thing? Nice job, Jim! What's yr pleasure? Title IX? Ethanol in gasoline standard? Endangered species?

Mike Sigman said...

Let's quit pretending that the "press" is the same "free press" spoken about in the Constitution. The "partisan liberal press" is propaganda ... it is not the "free press" by any means. The free and objective press was lost years ago when the liberals in journalism school were taught that their job is to "shape the public opinion", rather than "get the objective facts out to the public". Let these losers go ... they are not the "press" ... they are hacks.

dwick said...

Mark said 11/16/18, 7:20 PM...
AA again misses the point entirely.

Whether Trump "won" or not (deciding "winners" and "losers" has always been a quite shallow way of looking at things), the Constitution lost.


As my old engineering school professors used to say: "Show your work..."
Explain how/why you believe the Constitution lost.

Otherwise, you're just a 'drive-by commenter' - shouting out your disagreement in passing with no accompanying facts. logic, or substance. Why should anyone consider your opinion?

The Constitution talks about 'freedom of the press' - not 'tyranny of the press'...

Ken B said...

Chuck @ 8:39
Here's an explanation. The judge and Althouse disagree. I know you say stupid things, but telling Althouse she cannot believe her eyes because a judge says so really is too stupid even for you.

Ken B said...

Why does CNN not ask the intern. She knows what happened. Why won’t CNN ask her, the woman Acosta blocked, obstructed, struck, impeded, swatted, somethinged. He denied contact; ask HER.

bflat879 said...

It seems to me, if Acosta acted in court, the way he did in the press room, the judge would charge him with contempt and he might lose a little freedom or money, yet he tells the President of the United States he has no recourse but to put up with Acosta's crap. I disagree.

One good thing, the judge didn't say they have to call on Acosta and, if I were in charge of the White House Press operation, I wouldn't call on CNN at all until they pull Acosta from the press detail at the White House.

FIDO said...

He clearly contacted her. He said he never touched her, but clearly he does on multiple occasions

Now, in the Althousian tongue, any contact by a man to a woman without clear consent is sexual assault unless she REALLY wants it.


Was it a hit? If I push a policeman's hand away, how will he characterize it? A lot of case law which calls that 'assault'.

But she isn't a cop...but is engaging in her lawful duties. Acosta isn't.

Now, a lawyer would be...humble about what is and is not 'hitting'. He would know case law goes both ways.


Well, all lawyers save one: the lawyer who is the biased advocate of the defendant.

We call him Chuck. Never a crime by a Democrat he won't minimize. Never a lie he won't ignore...unless it is something said by a Republican that Chuck doesn't agree with 100%. Then it is a lie.

iowan2 said...

All the fun stuff President Trump could do with Acost-her. Never call on him, call on him and refuse to answer, get a Navy Seal to handle the mic, Get a very small anemic woman to handle the mic, etc.

The best I think is to make every presser about Acost-her. Give him long non-sequitor answers, let him do follow ups, burn up an hour with nothing but Acost-her.
His peers will frag him in is sleep.

iowan2 said...

Only one new rule for the pressers.

Any question can not exceed 144 characters.

Douglas said...

I like Jim Treacher's idea better. Trump (or Sanders) should only call on Acosta. When he finishes talking, they should ask him another question to get him going again. Don't let any other reporter get a question in. After a few days of this, the rest of the press will see to that Acosta is swimming with the fishes.

Gk1 said...

The best idea I have heard so far on this site is to create mandatory, 1 day press training with the most condescending and child like language possible as part of the terms of participating in a presidential press conference. Everyone with a hard pass now must undergo this mandatory training, no exceptions. The judge wanted due process, by all means lets give them a process. That way Trump can take a shit over the entire press corp and judge in one shot.

Friedrich Engels' Barber said...

re D.'s suggestion - No, reporter beating up young female intern much better optics. However, put 6'5" 250 lb biker dude as security, always standing between jerk reporter and lectern, never touching but blocking view of prez and, more important, tv camera. Let jerk reporter use up his energy trying to get around biker dude.

In any case, all you lawyers, is there any doubt left that our legal system, in its self-perceived role, is very troubled?

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Trump >>>

Civility is not bullshit. I take it seriously, and you will too.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Question
Can we evade any longer to answer

Isn't law social construct?

Chuck said...

I have written before; I thought that Acosta ‘s harangue of the President was largely unprofessional. I actually don’t understand why the White House could not set up rules for decorum in advance; make them ideologically neutral, and of reasonable clarity, and enforce them in an even-handed way.

But This White House went all victim-y. Claimed, falsely, that Acosta “placed his hands on” the intern. When in fact she placed her hand on Acosta.

And Althouse tries to play a game of hyperbolic hysterical language usage by saying that Acosta “hit a woman.”

This case went to federal court, and neither the woman nor the White House took the position that Acosta “hit a woman.” And assuredly, if Acosta really had “hit” anyone, it would have been a relevant fact.

That is not a mere difference of legal opinion or interpretation between Althouse and a lone federal district judge. This was the White House and the involved staffer declining to make the claim that Althouse wanted to make for them.

My opinion is that Althouse was trolling; employing deliberately inflammatory language for effect. It was a stunt; and the main reason that we would not regard it as defamatory on Althouse’s part, is that it was such a nonserious allegation.

Unknown said...

Were it up to me, I'd take Acosta's question first thing, and if he wanted followups I'd accommodate him there as well. I'd keep him going for 15 minutes or more, and when he finally sat down I'd thank them all and leave.

No more daily briefings! It's time for the Jim Acosta show, star-r-r-ring Jim ACOSTA!!!

See how his peers like it then.

alanc709 said...

Chuck, as usual, denies the facts of the case and builds a strawman arguing facts not in evidence to prove he's right. You'd make a great progressive lawyer, Chuck.

Roger Sweeny said...

The difference between Trump and Obama is that Trump quickly reacted to this incident by revoking the credentials, looked terrible to the credentialed media (who then reported him as terrible), and got slapped down by a judge. His people will now come up with the rules mentioned in the post and the media will present him as an enemy of First Amendment values.

Obama would have allowed Acosta to keep his credentials but would have ordered his people to come up with rules that would allow him to revoke credentials for similar conduct (in other words, similar to the rules the post assumes Trump's people will come up with). They would be boringly announced some time in the future, presented as bringing about civility and fairness--and the media would present him as a friend of First Amendment values.

walk don't run said...

If I were in the White House I would take back the determination of seating location. I believe seating is currently allocated by the press corps so that more "important" outlets get preferential seating at the front. This allows journos like Acosta to always be in the front row, garner more questions and thereby grandstand which he did on this occasion. In a desire to be fair to all White House journalists, the White House should number all the seats and using random tables, allocate seating to journalists on a daily basis. No swapping of seats would be allowed. This would give all journalists a fair chance of being at the front and greater likelihood of being selected. You can be sure the major media outlets would not like this and the only person who they could blame would be Accosta!!

That's the way you win this kind of war with subtlety since it appeals to people's sense of fairness and is hard to oppose.

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Gipper Lives said...

While President Trump is the political winner, this is a Separation of Powers issue. Put President Trump and Chop-Chop Acosta aside for a moment.

A member of the Judicial Branch cannot decide who has access to the physical seat of the Executive Branch any more than a president could hand out passes to the judges’ chambers.

I hope the Executive Branch presses this issue. The Robes have gotten way too big for their yoga pants. It's our Constitution, not theirs. And federal power was split to protect all oif us from the Feddle Gummint.
ReplyDelete

Chuck said...

Blogger alanc709 said...
Chuck, as usual, denies the facts of the case and builds a strawman arguing facts not in evidence to prove he's right. You'd make a great progressive lawyer, Chuck.


What I am arguing is that it is beyond dispute, that no one on the White House’s side of the case ever attempted to make the claim in federal court that Jim Acosta “hit a woman.” The White House might have made that claim and should have made that claim if it were true. It is not true; and again it is beyond dispute that the woman did not make any claim in court that Acosta “hit” her.

I’m not sure what sort of weird emotional device it was, that Althouse was trying to play here. But her choice of language was Trumpian in its reckless falsity.

And I’d make a terrible progressive lawyer because I share none of their policy goals.

wendybar said...

Mike Sigman said...@9:21pm
Let's quit pretending that the "press" is the same "free press" spoken about in the Constitution. The "partisan liberal press" is propaganda ... it is not the "free press" by any means. The free and objective press was lost years ago when the liberals in journalism school were taught that their job is to "shape the public opinion", rather than "get the objective facts out to the public".Here's proof from Mika Bzezinski!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v7xN02whVY

Ken B said...

So Chuck, will you answer me? Why not interview her?

Daniel said...

Nickelodeon receives higher ratings than CNN. Maybe they should embed reporters at the WH Pressers!

Brian Macker said...

"But This White House went all victim-y. Claimed, falsely, that Acosta “placed his hands on” the intern. When in fact she placed her hand on Acosta."
This is not what happened. She placed her hand on the mike to retrieve it as was her job. He even saw her reaching and.pulled the mike back as her hand approached. He then placed his palm edge in the crook of her elbow to pry pry the mike from.her grasp. As her elbow collapse rapidly it snaps away from his hand. At which point he accelerates his palm edge downward yet again catching up with and forcing her arm completely away.

Chuck said...

I’d be delighted, if anyone interviewed the side/intern.

I don’t even know her name. I don’t think that the White House wants her name to be known. They could have announced it by now if they had any interest in that. Why wouldn’t one of the Trump monkey butlers at Fox News interview her? They could do her story in a totally friendly, accommodating, one-sided way.

But what the heck could she actually add to the story? We have clear video of what happened .

Chuck said...

“aide”; not side.

Damn auto correct.

Chuck said...

No Brian the whole word saw what happened. Acosta was holding the mic; she placed her hand on Acosta’s hand holding the mic as she attempted to interrupt him in the middle of his attempt to question the President, as is his job.

The White House lied and claimed that Acosta “placed his hands on her.” A weird claim since one of Acosta’s hands was holding the mic that she was aggressively trying to take from him.

She placed her hand on Acosta’s mic-holding hand. Acosta did not “place his hands on” her.

hstad said...

The Judge's ruling (Trump appointed) is classic of this group of Elites. Rather than just telling CNN it's not the Judiciary's responsibility to adjudicate every slight - you settle it with the WH. Truly amazing how the Judiciary believes they need to rule on every little issue coming before them in our country. We are in trouble as a country and what the true meaning of the judiciary has become over time.

Jim at said...

Claimed, falsely, that Acosta “placed his hands on” the intern. When in fact she placed her hand on Acosta.

There is no way to address this level of willful blindness and stupidity.

There just isn't.

Aggie - said...

This is the White House, in 2018. Is it really believable that they cannot source the technology for a microphone that they can control by turning it off remotely, and then turning on the next microphone at the next reporter in line to ask a question? that would leave the reporter who won't shut up looking like a complete douche in a totally futile situation - which he likely is, on both counts.

Chuck said...

Blogger Jim at said...
Claimed, falsely, that Acosta “placed his hands on” the intern. When in fact she placed her hand on Acosta.

There is no way to address this level of willful blindness and stupidity.

There just isn't.


What video are you Trump cultists looking at?

The actual video shows the woman reaching across Acosta’s chest, attempting to grab the mic, placing her hand on Acosta’s hand holding the mic. She placed her hand on Acosta. Acosta did not place a hand on her.

She started all of it. She initiated the contact. There never would have been any physical contact between them at all, but for her attempt to take the mic away from him.

JAORE said...

Rule for WH pressers:
- Don't be a dick.


Mr. Acosta, you are excused, please leave quietly.

Opfor311 said...

The White House should have Terry Tate, Office Linebacker enforce the new rules for the White House press corps. Each reporter gets 5 Mississippis to ask their questions before Tate gets to blitz them.

Laura M in Arizona said...

Trump's ego must not be so big or fragile as the libs think. He's able to think strategically on his feet. As a woman I have a technique I call the "dumb blonde" technique. When I want to get someone to agree with giving me something I want (information, help getting something done at a business like a doctor's office, an insurance company, a utility company) I "play dumb" and start asking questions I already know the answers to (no I'm not a lawyer and I figured this out alone) and also point blank ask for help. I am a retired computer engineer. However, when I am really up against someone who isn't cooperating I set aside all my ego and look at the conversation as a game, a challenge to see if I can "win". I gear my questions and comments towards steering the person to my way of seeing things. 99 times out of 100 I am successful and I leave the person laughing and spending more time on the phone than they want to - while they started out seeming to want to get of the phone quickly they are suddenly talking to me about topics having nothing to do with their job. Then the next time I call that company and get that customer support rep they remember me and they go from bored/antagonistic to my best friend!