Why Press Likely Won’t Boycott in Wake of Trump White House’s Ban of Jim Acosta

New York Times gets political strategists to weigh in on how media should react.

President Trump got into a heated exchange with CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta during a post-election press conference. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Trump Administration launched its most direct attack on the media to date, revoking CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s hard press pass, which allows him to attend press conferences inside the White House.

Instead of massive press backlash or boycott over the slight and the use of an altered video clip to justify it, however, there has been a more measured response from Acosta’s colleagues inside and outside the network.

That’s because the fourth estate finds itself in a no-win Catch-22 situation, according to New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg.

“Reporters could stage a group protest,” he wrote in a column Monday. “But that would make them look like they’re at war with the president, just as he always says they are.

“Or they could do nothing and effectively ‘submit to his authority to determine who gets to hold him accountable,’ as the former Republican presidential strategist Steve Schmidt put it to me in an interview on Friday.”

To date, the White House Correspondents’ Association has not threatened a boycott in solidarity, but that may have to do with a dislike of Acosta by many in the group because of his image as a self-promoting “showboat.”

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