Fox News Supporting CNN Press Access Lawsuit Against White House

Jay Wallace - Publicity-H 2018
Courtesy of Alex Kroke

"Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized," network president Jay Wallace said in part in a statement.

Fox News, setting aside competitive differences, will file an amicus brief in support of CNN's lawsuit against the White House, which seeks to reverse an administration decision to suspend chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass.

“Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential," network president Jay Wallace said Wednesday in a statement. "We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”

Fox News was the first television network to announce an intention to file a friend-of-the-court brief supporting CNN. The network also joined a statement of support submitted by a host of news organizations, including NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, the Associated Press, Politico, First Look Media, USA Today and others.

"Whether the news of the day concerns national security, the economy, or the environment, reporters covering the White House must remain free to ask questions," the groups said. "It is imperative that independent journalists have access to the president and his activities, and that journalists are not barred for arbitrary reasons. Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question this president, or any president. We will be filing friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN's and Jim Acosta's lawsuit based on these principles."

CBS News also released a statement of support and said it will file a brief: "CBS News supports the White House Correspondents Association and CNN’s legal effort to restore access for its White House correspondent. We do not believe that revoking White House press credentials is an appropriate remedy for a disagreement the White House may have with a particular reporter. We intend to file a friend of the court brief in support of CNN’s lawsuit to defend its constitutional rights.”

The Wall Street Journal also pledged support, saying that it "finds it troubling that CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's White House 'hard pass' was revoked. We believe that decision should be reversed and support efforts to restore Mr. Acosta's full access. The Journal remains committed to the exercise of free speech rights promised by the First Amendment and to reporters' ability to question elected officials."

On Tuesday, several hours after CNN filed the suit, The Washington Post released the first statement of support. "We support CNN in its effort to restore the press credentials of its White House reporter," said CEO Fred Ryan. "It is a journalist's role to ask hard questions, hold the powerful to account and provide readers with as much information as possible."