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On Nov. 7, the White House announced that it would be suspending CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass. This will bar him from entry to future press conferences and White House events until further notice.

The editorial board at The Express has been increasingly alarmed at the President’s demonization of media and press and fully supports Jim Acosta. Without a free press, on a local level, this community college newspaper would not exist. On a national level, we believe that people are only as free as they are allowed to speak.

At the press conference which took place on Nov. 7, Acosta and President Donald Trump engaged in tense banter, none of which is out of the ordinary for a White House press conference, especially considering the President’s prior commentary on CNN and Acosta. Acosta interrupted the President several times to ask him questions and refused to hand over the microphone when directed.

The President’s response was to refer to him as a “rude, terrible person” whom CNN should be ashamed of. A White House intern was directed to remove the microphone from Acosta’s hands. While she attempted to do so, Acosta’s forearm brushed against her forearm as he held onto the microphone. This was the reason, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claims, is the justification for suspending Acosta.

The statement made by Press Secretary Sanders was accompanied with a doctored video which some have sourced to InfoWars, a far right conspiracy theory site. It has become increasingly evident that Acosta’s challenging questions and conduct were more bothersome to the White House. CNN has been outspoken about their stance behind Acosta as well as many other journalists.

Whether or not a certain news group is favorable is not remotely the issue. There is more at stake if the barring of Jim Acosta is excused by the public. The Express firmly stands behind him and any others who may face similar opposition.

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