No More Showboating: White House Introduces New Rules for Reporters

CNN’s Jim Acosta may be allowed to keep his Secret Service pass (for the time being) thanks to a court ruling, but his disruptions are coming to an end one way or the other. In fact, because of Acosta’s nonstop antics at the official White House press conferences, the Trump administration is rolling out new rules for reporters that should satisfy the court’s demand for “due process.” These rules will apparently go into effect immediately; we don’t anticipate it will be long before Acosta or some other clown finds themselves in violation.

On Monday, the White House rolled out the new guidelines:

  • A journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists;
  • At the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions, a follow-up question or questions may be permitted; and where a follow up has been allowed and asked, the questioner will then yield the floor.
  • “Yielding the floor” includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner;
  • Failure to abide by any of rules (1)-(3) may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.

Among the reporters disturbed by the fact that White House reporters might actually have to conduct themselves with some level of professional decorum was Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple, who worried that reporters would be nervous about stepping on the president’s toes from here on out.

“A norm has fallen, giving way to pitiful little rules,” Wemple wrote. “Will reporters run afoul of these new rules? Will they ask two questions when they’re allotted only one? Such technicalities may be beside the point: Reporters will be thinking about those rules and the hassles that come along with violating them.”

Oh no, what a tragic day for the First Amendment! Idiots like Jim Acosta won’t be able to get up on their soapbox and pontificate for half an hour while purporting to ask a “question” of Sanders and/or Trump. Truly a dark moment for our democracy, wouldn’t you say, Erik?

Of course you would. But to the rest of the country, this is nothing more or less than a reasonable attempt to corral the herd of cats that call themselves journalists. If reporters in the Trump era could comport themselves with a modicum of decency and professionalism, we wouldn’t need these “pitiful little rules” in the first place. As it stands, though, when you have a roomful of reporters desperate to make themselves into stars at Trump’s expense, it’s the measure of least resistance.

Can’t wait to see which reporter gets banned first!


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