Credo Action

Tell the White House press corps: Resist Trump's attacks

Sign the petition

The petition to the White House press corps reads:

"Resist Trump's attacks on the press. Refuse to participate in his press conferences until Trump restores CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass."

    You'll receive periodic updates on offers and activism opportunities.

    Tell the White House press corps: Resist Trump's attacks

    Trump's war on journalists has hit a dangerous new low. After refusing to answer questions from CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta during a press conference last week, Trump revoked his press pass altogether. Worse, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders justified the ban by falsely accusing Acosta of assaulting a White House intern and promoted a doctored video to back up her allegations.1

    In a democracy, elected officials do not decide which reporters can write about them. They do not try to discredit reporters who ask tough questions, and they certainly do not promote fake evidence of false accusations.

    Independent journalism is one of our most powerful tools to hold Trump accountable. If Trump can punish reporters who question him without any consequences, impartial journalism itself is under threat – and so is our democracy.

    Tell the White House Press Corps: Defend CNN and the free press. Walk out until Jim Acosta's press pass is returned.

    While Trump's petulant attacks on CNN are predictable by now, cutting off access to a major news network is a troubling new sign. This is not about CNN – it is about our democracy. If Trump can ban reporters he does not like, other reporters may avoid tough questions in order to preserve their access. Some may avoid writing stories that make him look bad. Over time, all of us will be less informed and less able to hold Trump accountable.

    Press groups have condemned the ban, including the White House Correspondents' Association and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.2 But we should know by now – condemning Trump is not enough. Unless he faces real consequences for trampling on the First Amendment, we can be sure he will continue.

    Press coverage is the oxygen for Trump's narcissism. Until Acosta is allowed to do his job, the rest of the White House press corps must not continue business as usual. They should walk out, refuse to participate in press conferences, stop writing about Trump – whatever it takes. If they do interview Trump, they should raise Acosta's removal at every chance until he is back.

    Attacking journalists is another sign of Trump's growing authoritarianism, and we must not normalize it. All of us – and especially Acosta's colleagues who still have access to the White House – must fight back for the institutions that protect our democracy.

    Tell the White House Press Corps: Defend CNN and the free press. Walk out until Jim Acosta's press pass is returned.

    References:

    1. Sinéad Baker, "White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted a doctored video of the Jim Acosta mic-grab that was shared hours earlier by the far-right site Infowars," Business Insider, Nov. 8, 2018.
    2. Brian Stelter, "Reporters condemn White House decision to bar CNN's Acosta," CNN, Nov. 8, 2018.

    Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images