Conservative Leaders React to CNN's Publicity Stunt Lawsuit Against the White House

November 15th, 2018 1:52 PM

After Media Research Center President Brent Bozell spoke out about CNN's "ridiculous" lawsuit against the White House, we at the Media Research Center reached out to conservative leaders around the nation. These leaders responded with frustration at CNN’s dramatic publicity stunt. 

Acosta crossed a line in civility and the White House is justified to revoke his press pass. The fact that CNN issued a lawsuit only reaffirms that their network is a “hit squad” for the Left.

The following statements are from conservative leaders who wanted to weigh in:

I served twenty-two years of my life in the United States Army taking an oath to support and defend the Constitution of these United States. The rights of a free press is enshrined in the rule of law I was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend. However, there is also an inherent duty to ensure we have a responsible press that honors the immense privilege given. The lawsuit brought forth by CNN is irresponsible and is evidence of an ideological press, one that can undermine the very fabric of our Constitutional Republic. This is a frivolous and agenda driven exercise. As a former military officer, I recommend CNN stop whining and just replace Jim Acosta. This is a teachable moment for a disrespectful individual who has had a special privilege revoked, just like a security clearance.

Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West (USA, Ret)

Member, 112th US Congress

Senior Fellow, Media Research Center


I would advise to CNN to dismiss the litigation against the White house and to find a more positive way to solve their differences. America is a land of free speech, but journalists should behave with decorum and professionalism. Jim Acosta should reevaluate his recent approach to questioning the President of the United States and consider apologizing for his bellicose and disruptive behavior, which recently led to an awkward situation with a White House female intern and caused Mr. Costa’s press pass to be suspended.

Adryana Aldeen

Public Policy, Public Relations and Political Consultant


As a former L.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office S.D.N.Y., one of whose sons is now an attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office New Orleans, I urge CNN to drop its specious lawsuit demanding credentials for Jim Acosta. Having grown up in the entertainment industry and worked as an entertainment industry news publisher for 40 years, it has always been clear that White House credentials are at the discretion of the White House. This suit is a waste of time and money. While you will get publicity, you are wasting taxpayer money on a frivolous suit.

Ted Baehr, Th.D., HHD, J.D.




CNN's argument seems to be that no matter how obnoxious or out-of-control Jim Acosta is, he has a right to be at the White House. I suppose that makes sense coming from a network that doesn't believe we have right to control our borders.

The Honorable Gary Bauer


American Values


Americans' constitutional right to free speech does not require a White House press pass. Thousands of journalists across the country break news, report on important issues, and publish major stories every day -- all without sitting in the White House press room. Jim Acosta could learn from their example.

Morton Blackwell,


Leadership Institute


As Kellyanne Conway said, ‘Most reporters come to the White House to get the story, but some come to get the President.” Even if Jim Acosta were in the first category, he would not have the right to hold a White House pass. No one does. To an increasing degree, litigation against President Trump has become a tactic to derail goals he was elected to achieve. The administration should fight this and all attempts to encroach on presidential prerogatives.

Elaine Donnelly


Center for Military Readiness


As a First Amendment specialist, with strong opposition to efforts by government to even intimidate rights, I am disappointed that CNN has chosen to misrepresent certain facts in its complaint, to target the Secret Service agent, and to fail to correct the boorish and disruptive behavior of its Senior White House Correspondent, Mr. Acosta. Mr. Acosta clearly knocked away the arm of the White House intern, for which he and CNN should apologize. I suggest Acosta buy her chocolates and flowers, which may resolve this matter faster, more fairly, and less expensively for the taxpayers than a lawsuit.

Mark J. Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc.


CNN’s lawsuit over the revocation of Jim Acosta’s White House press pass displays crystal clearly, just how clueless the left is about the Constitution, as well as how readily willing they are to throw a childlike fit when they don’t get their way. The Constitution provides Jim Acosta the right to report what he wishes about the President, even if ridden with the usual leftist lies and smears. What the Constitution does not do, is demand that the White House accommodate anyone who demands access to the President, or Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Until CNN can show some respect for the Oval Office and those who occupy it by refusing to follow direct orders, let them engineer their smear campaign from outside the White House, rather than within it.

Brigitte Gabriel

Founder and Chairman

ACT for America


Radical activists determined to disrupt, grandstand, arrogantly hog the mic, argue with the president, and spout propaganda have no place in the WH press briefing room. Not in any administration. The First Amendment guarantees the right to such behavior, but not in such a small room where space and time for gathering information are limited. That’s why there is a credentialing process in the first place

Rebecca Hagelin


The Washington Times


CNN's lawsuit highlights the facts that the mainstream news media, during the Trump presidency, has consistently confused freedom of the press with the right to be free from the consequences of biased reporting and unprofessional conduct like that of Jim Acosta. The First Amendment no more protects reporters from criticism than it protects government officials from criticism by the press. And it certainly does not guarantee any reporter or news organizations one of the very limited places at White House press conferences. If it did, thousands of reporters would follow CNN to court and demands their spots. The Trump administration would be well within its rights to hand out those spots so as to ensure more of an ideological balance at White House press conferences. That it has not done so demonstrates the degree to which this administration has bent over backward to accommodate the mainstream news media despite its open hostility.  

Curt Levey


The Committee for Justice


In a presidential press conference, the President is the presenter, and the reporters are there to report what he or she says to a broader audience. It is not an open debate forum where reporters argue with the President.

This CNN reporter repeatedly has gone way beyond the bounds of civility. I would have expected this much sooner than now -- just for his disruptive influence and simply based on his hogging time from other reporters.

It amazes me that anyone would judge his behavior as redeeming, much less acceptable.

Honorable James C. Miller III


The Acosta-intern video shows what it shows, whether CNN likes it or not. We can disagree over how to characterize the video, but any claim that there was no contact is akin to, as CNN would put it, calling an apple a banana.

James O’Keefe


Project Veritas


As a journalist who received his first byline in 1976 I have been appalled by the unprofessional behavior of Jim Acosta, and as a former White House staffer I was outraged that Acosta had the temerity to put his hands on a young female press aide. CNN should stop defending Acosta's behavior, drop this frivolous lawsuit, and require Jim Acosta to issue an apology to the White House press aide and to his fellow White House Correspondents for his brutish and unprofessional behavior.

George Rasley

Managing Editor

Conservative HQ


CNN loses its last shred of credibility when its reporters begin by saying they want to ‘challenge’ the President. Ask a question, yes. Pretend to reprise Dan Rather with Richard Nixon, no thanks!

Ron Robinson


Young America’s Foundation


CNN’s suit is a puerile PR stunt and a joke. It should be dismissed by any reputable judge in a matter of minutes. Jim Acosta has every Constitutional right to act obnoxious, boorish and loathsome. The First Amendment protects his right to act insufferable.

He does not have a constitutional to act out his temper tantrums in the White House. None of us have that right.

Craig Shirley

Reagan Biographer and Historian


No member of the media has the right to monopolize the White House press conference. Jim Acosta’s rude actions is what got him in trouble, not his views. Acosta’s actions are intolerable.

Mathew D. Staver, Esq., B.C.S.

Founder and Chairman

Liberty Counsel