The media's collective outrage over the White House banning a CNN reporter became abundantly clear on Wednesday when Fox News supported CNN's lawsuit against the president and top White House staffers. In a statement condemning the Trump administration's actions, Fox News said it will file an amicus brief in the suit because journalists' White House press badges "should never be weaponized."
"FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential," Fox News President Jay Wallace said in a statement CNN shared on Wednesday. "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."
Jim Acosta's Secret Service pass was taken away indefinitely last week after Trump took offense at his line of questioning during a press conference. The White House then claimed that Acosta inappropriately placed "his hands on a young woman" who tried to take the microphone away from him and shared a video of the encounter that critics believe was deceptively edited, per The Washington Post. The White House has denied accusations that it was doctored.
CNN announced on Tuesday that the network, along with Acosta, were suing Trump and five of his aides who they say played a role in keeping Acosta out of the White House for the past week. The suit alleges that the White House violated the First and Fifth Amendment rights of CNN and Acosta by banning the veteran journalist from doing his job. The network has requested that the court issue a preliminary injunction allowing Acosta to return to the White House as soon as possible.
"The White House punished Mr. Acosta and CNN for the contents of their reporting," Ted Boutrous, attorney for CNN and Acosta, said in a statement on Tuesday. "The arbitrary revocation of Mr. Acosta's press credentials is causing irreparable injury each and every day because it is stopping him from reporting on news from the White House."
The suit adds that Acosta's suspension probably won't be the last if the administration's actions go unchecked, as Politico reports that Trump said Friday that there "could be others also."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed CNN's lawsuit, saying on Tuesday that Acosta “is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment," per The Hill.
Along with Fox News, a dozen other news organizations have publicly backed CNN's lawsuit. In a joint statement posted to Twitter by The New York Times' Michael Grynbaum on Wednesday, Bloomberg, First Look Media, Gannett, NBC News, The New York Times, Politico, USA TODAY, and other networks said they'd be filing briefs in support of Acosta.
"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 joint statement read. "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."