Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media's Carrie Sheffield is trying to use the Jim Acosta-White House controversy to relitigate the 2016 incident in which then-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski manhandled conservative reporter Michelle Fields at a Trump campaign event. From her Nov. 15 AIM post:
The mainstream media has shown a double standard in how it has rallied behind CNN’s Jim Acosta and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, even though both men were accused of physically brushing off young women in the workplace.
In March 2016, former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields accused Lewandowski of grabbing her arm during a campaign event, yet authorities in April declined to formally prosecute Lewandowski on a charge of simple battery. Lewandowski’s lawyer submitted a draft of a short apology from Lewandowski, according to Palm Beach County state attorney David Aronberg, and Palm Beach County assistant prosecutor Adrienne Ellis told reporters that the charges against Lewandowski, according to New York Magazine “were undermined by the fact that, in the moments before the infamous arm-grab, Fields had entered a “protective bubble” maintained by Secret Service agents, and made incidental contact with the candidate himself.
Sheffield ignored that the two incidents are not equivalent. Fields released a photo of bruises on her arm where she said Lewandowski grabbed her, while Acosta had no such contact with the White House intern trying to take his microphone while asking Trump a question. Sheffield curiously doesn't mention the video tweeted out by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that was doctored to present the Acosta incident as more violent than it was.
Further, while Sheffield claims there was a draft of an apology made, the fact is that Lewandowski ultimately refused to apologize to Fields.
Sheffield complained again in a Nov. 26 post by repeating her false equivalence:
Acosta’s physical aggression — swatting away a young woman, an intern who was doing her job — indicated his total disrespect for her. Where is the feminist media outcry, like the 16 conservative female journalists who called for Lewandowski’s firing?
The way Acosta diminished her humanity was evidenced by her subsequent humiliated crouching on the ground. Saturday Night Live might mock this young woman, but in the age of #MeToo, SNL and the mainstream media are missing the power play Acosta pulled here.
Sheffield again falsely claimed that "Lewandowski apologized." She then displayed her anti-Acosta bias: "Though today a federal judge ordered the White House to reinstate CNN correspondent Acosta’s press pass, case law clearly indicates there is no absolute First Amendment right for a specific journalist to access the White House. As was the case with other rulings in favor of the White House, I believe this case will be successfully appealed by the president’s team."