November 9, 2018: National Press Club leaders expressed outrage Thursday at President Donald Trump’s escalating attacks on the press and the White House’s revocation of a reporter’s credentials.
Club President Andrea Edney said:
“The president’s personal attacks on reporters, especially on CNN’s Jim Acosta, during a Nov. 7 news conference were unprecedented and beneath the dignity of the office.
The president and his aides have suggested they are aggrieved only by certain segments of the media, not all of it. But the Fourth Estate stands as one. An attack on any of us is an attack on all of us.”
Barbara Cochran, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, a non-profit arm of the Club that conducts press-freedom and professional-development programs, said:
“The press’s job is not to report things as positively as possible but to report things as truthfully as possible. We make mistakes; but when we do, we promptly correct them.
Most presidents in our history have bristled from time to time at tough coverage. But no previous president has shut out or publicly demeaned individual reporters and news organizations. The First Amendment protects the press from government control precisely so that the public has access to information reported truthfully and unconstrained by fear of government reprisal.”
Edney also said: “After the press conference, the president’s performance was exacerbated by White House aides. They revoked Acosta’s press pass without reasonable cause. Then, in a new low, they justified it by falsely accusing Acosta of inappropriately roughing up a female White House intern–and then sought to substantiate the charge by circulating a doctored video of the event.”
The Club, founded in 1908 and based in Washington, D.C., is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. Through its Press Freedom Committee, the Club defends transparency and free expression around the world.
Contact: John M. Donnelly, Chairman, NPC Press Freedom Committee, 202 650 6738