Politics

CNN and Acosta Must ‘Be Very Careful’ What ‘They Wish for,’ Says Jeffrey Lord

On 'The Ingraham Angle,' the conservative commentator plus Sean Spicer reacted to White House's new rules for media behavior

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CNN and its controversial reporter Jim Acosta “will come to regret” the behavior that led to the temporary revocation of Acosta’s White House media pass following a contentious press conference with President Donald Trump recently. That’s the opinion of former CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord, a conservative, as he shared it on Tuesday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

Acosta’s credentials were yanked following the fiery briefing with Trump on November 7 during which Acosta (pictured above right) initially sought to “challenge” the president by giving his own personal opinion on the Central American migrant caravan.

Trump eventually tried to move along to another reporter after allowing Acosta to ask a few questions. But Acosta at first refused to give up the microphone to anyone else — and continued asking questions.

An unnamed female White House intern also unsuccessfully tried to reclaim the microphone from Acosta, but he held onto it and pulled his arm back so that she could not take it from him.

But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted out a particular video, which apparently had been doctored to appear worse — showing Acosta swatting away the intern when she tried to retrieve the microphone. Yet even in the original and undoctored video, Acosta can be seen trying to push away the intern’s arm as she reached for the mic.

Federal Judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House last Friday to reinstate Acosta’s press pass temporarily and immediately. The judge never ruled on whether Acosta’s First Amendment rights were violated.

After some more back-and-forth drama with CNN, the White House permanently reinstated Acosta’s pass and put forward a new set of rules governing future press briefings — and laying the groundwork for due process. Should Acosta or any other reporter violate them, the White House threatened to revoke their passes either temporarily or permanently.

“This is a discussion about content versus conduct. And I think there’s a very capable press secretary that’s right now able to discern the difference between the two,” former White House press secretary Sean Spicer told former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), who filled in for host Laura Ingraham on Tuesday evening. Huckabee is Sanders’ father.

“No one has a question about the content of any reporter’s question. They can ask whatever they want. But their conduct is what’s in question, and I think that’s what the judge ruled the other day,” said Spicer, who preceded Sanders in the Trump administration.

“Will they behave in a way that’s professional? Will they respect not just the office of the presidency, but their fellow reporters? And I think that’s what this really comes down to,” Spicer continued. “I think there’s a great press secretary now — you may know her — that knows how to call balls and strikes, and there’s a president that knows how to understand that, as well.”

Many conservatives have frequently criticized Acosta for his press briefing antics, and Spicer insisted that reporters should “conduct themselves and show respect not only to their fellow reporters but to the president of the United States and the White House.”

Related: White House Media Battles Are ‘Not All About Jim Acosta’

Lord, a former Reagan staffer whom CNN fired in August 2017 after he tweeted the Nazi salute “Sieg Heil!” while mocking liberal Media Matters for America President Angelo Carusone, agreed with Spicer’s assessment.

Lord also pointed to recent comments CBS News’ Major Garrett, formerly of Fox News, had made regarding Acosta and his behavior.

Garrett said Friday on “The Larry O’Connor Show” that there was a “standard of conduct” that’s expected from Acosta and other reporters, admitting that he did not approve of the CNN reporter’s conduct during the briefing.

Garrett also threw some shade at Acosta when asked whether he thought the CNN reporter violated White House briefing protocols, saying, “I do my level best to not make myself part of story, and I think the best journalists operate that way.”

“This is about conduct, not about content. You know, in the last couple days we’ve heard from Major Garrett now with CBS. In the Obama days, of course, he was the White House correspondent for Fox. No one remembers Major Garrett acting like Jim Acosta. It’s because he didn’t,” Lord said.

“We have gone so far down the path of the wrong direction with this stuff and it’s almost unbelievable. And I think CNN and Jim Acosta will come to regret it. So will their compadres in the room,” Lord concluded.

“This is totally unprofessional stuff. And I think that CNN has to be very careful here what they wish for because now if there are going to be a set of rules and regulations, then the good press secretary that Sarah is, she’s going to have to — and she will, I have no doubt — call them out,” Lord warned.

“We have gone so far down the path of the wrong direction with this stuff and it’s almost unbelievable. And I think CNN and Jim Acosta will come to regret it. So will their compadres in the room,” Lord concluded.

Check out the video clip below:

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