Literally minutes after Fox News President Jay Wallace announced the network would file a brief in support of CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration for revoking correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials, Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz slammed the suit as a PR stunt by the network.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 14, 2018
“We’ll get the first look at whether a federal judge will take seriously CNN’s claims in the president’s decision to retaliate against Jim Acosta,” the MediaBuzz host told America’s Newsroom Bill Hemmer today. “This suit is more of a PR effort than a legal one. I don’t know that we’re going to get a profound ruling out of this.”
He continued, “It casts CNN and [CNN president] Jeff Zucker as champions of the free press and this is why I think the White House stripping the credentials was a strategic error. It took the spotlight off of Acosta constantly interrupting, refusing to give up the microphone in that incident last week, and turned him into a journalistic martyr.”
Later on in the discussion, however, Hemmer revealed that Fox News was siding with CNN in the suit, reading out the statement. This caused Kurtz to latch onto a “key phrase” in Wallace’s statement — Fox News saying they “don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press.”
“It signals that, while the president has certainly been very vociferous in the last week especially in attacking individual journalists such as Jim Acosta, that there are excesses on the media side as well,” Kurtz noted. “But this shows, with the networks falling into line — not that they particularly approve of Jim Acosta — in fact, there’s been a lot of criticism from me and others of Acosta at this network.”
He concluded, “But it shows that the White House drawing the line in the sand prompting CNN to file a suit other news organizations feel like they have to stand up for the principle. A lot of people at the same time I think CNN is convincing many trump supporters not only does it seem to be often journalistically opposed to the president but legally fighting him as well. That’s become the story.”
Besides Fox News, over a dozen other news and media outlets are filing amicus briefs to support CNN’s lawsuit against the president and many of his top officials, including White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — who shared a manipulated video to falsely claim Acosta inappropriately touched a White House intern — and Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Watch the clip above, via Fox News.