Fox News backs CNN’s lawsuit against White House for revoking Jim Acosta’s credentials

CNN competitors Fox News and NBC are among the media giants throwing support behind the network in its legal action against the White House for revoking the credentials of journalist Jim Acosta.

In a joint statement issued Wednesday, the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post and others said they’re joining the fight, as “reporters covering the White House must remain free to ask questions.”

“It is imperative that independent journalists have access to the president and his activities, and that journalists are not barred for arbitrary reasons,” a joint statement read.

“Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question this president, or any president. We will be filing friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN’s and Jim Acosta’s lawsuit based on these principles.”

Acosta was banned from the White House following a feisty exchange last week with U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump called Acosta a “rude” and “terrible person” as he asked questions on the migrant caravan. An intern then attempted to take a microphone away from Acosta, who continued to ask questions as Trump dismissed him.

The situation escalated when White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders tweeted a video appearing to show Acosta react aggressively to the intern, that critics allege was doctored.

Sanders said in a statement that Acosta’s privileges had been revoked due to his interaction with the intern.

“[The White House will] never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable,” Sanders said on Nov. 7. “As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.”

CNN announced a lawsuit against Trump Tuesday morning.

“The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press,” a statement from CNN said.

“If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

A federal judge was expected to hold a hearing on Wednesday regarding the lawsuit seeking the speedy reinstatement of press credentials for Acosta.

The White House has vowed to “vigorously defend” against the lawsuit.

— With files from Rebecca Joseph and Reuters.

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