Commentary: The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) has joined the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) in condemning the White House for suspending CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's press credentials and is demanding that it be restored immediately.
At an afternoon press briefing on November 7, Acosta, a good-standing member of the NAHJ, questioned President Trump if he had "demonized immigrants" by calling a caravan of Central American migrants "an invasion". After a contentious exchange, including the president calling Acosta a "rude, terrible person", a female White House intern tried to retrieve the microphone from the reporter. The White House suspended Acosta's press pass a day after, arguing in a statement that Acosta placed "his hands on a young woman" and that "this conduct is absolutely unacceptable". Footage of the briefing shows otherwise. Meanwhile, Acosta has replied on Twitter that the White House statement is "a lie".
"We are living in extraordinary times when a president of the United States continuously refers to the free press as 'fake news' and 'the enemy of the people'. This relentless assault on the media has no doubt incited physical violence and violent threats against journalists in the U.S., but has also caused the strength and integrity of our democracy to hang in the balance", said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
"Jim Acosta is being punished for doing his duty as a journalist - checking the powers of government, standing up to lies and manipulation, and fighting for free expression granted under the Constitution", continued Nogales. "Clearly, the White House and the president are not only at war with the press, but they're at war with the truth. We stand behind NAHJ's appeal for Acosta to gain access to the White House immediately and to continue doing his job as it has historically been done".
The NHMC recommends its partner organizations, friends and allies to follow suit in condemning the White House for the unfair action against Acosta, and to either publish on their websites or on social media platforms their discontent at the reprehensible actions of the Trump Administration.