As befits a "news" operation operated by the Media Research Center -- which already has a vendetta against the guy -- CNSNews.com's coverage of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's tussle with the White House over his questioning of President Trump and its subsequent suspension of his White House press pass was never going to be fair and balanced. We already saw that with CNS' difficultly in admitting the simple, indisputable fact that a video released by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was doctored to show an encounter between Acosta and an White House intern trying to take a microphone away from him as more violent than it was.
When CNN sued the White House for reinstatement of Acosta's press pass, CNS' anti-Acosta bias shifted into overdrive.
Not at first, though. Melanie Arter's story on the lawsuit is unusually balanced for a CNS piece, giving relatively equal space to supporters and critics of CNN. She didn't, however, note that the White House had changed its rationale for pulling Acost's press pass -- it had originally blamed Acosta's (doctored) contact with the intern, but was now blaming Acosta's alleged general failure to yield the floor.
Arter also wrote an article focused on the White House's legal response to CNN's lawsuit -- but she waited until the seventh paragraph to note that the RMC's favorite news outlet, Fox News, fiiled an amicus brief on behalf of CNN, which you'd think would be the more newsworthy of the two.In addition to running a column by the guy who runs CNS, Brent Bozell (along with the guy who actually wrote it, Tim Graham), purporting to cite "6 Reasons the CNN-Acosta Lawsuit Is Lame," CNS also called in the usual suspects in attacking the lawsuit in general and Acosta in particular, with special attention given to a guy to whom CNS has already spent more than 100 articles so far this year promoting:
- Mark Levin: If Media Have Integrity Left ‘They Will Condemn Acosta’
- Levin: 'Kamikaze Journalists, Obviously in a Coordinated Attack on This President'
- GOP Chairwoman: ‘CNN’s Lawsuit Is a Political Stunt’
- Levin: CNN Suit Vs. WH ‘Ridiculous;’ ‘Acosta Does Not Have Constitutional Right to Disrupt Press Conference’
- Mark Levin: ‘CNN and Jim Acosta Are Not Protecting Freedom of the Press; They’re Protecting Themselves’
There were, of course, no posts uncritically arguing the merits of CNN's lawsuit.
So sure was CNS that the fix was in against CNN, in fact, that it touted the bias of the judge reviewing it. Arter was practically salivating in a Nov. 14 article when she wrote: "The judge in the case--Timothy J. Kelly--was appointed to this judgeship by President Trump and before that worked on the staff of Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R.-Iowa). Prior to that he was an assisant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia during the adminisration of President George W. Bush." Strangely, other articles Arter wrote in anticipation of Kelly's ruling failed to mention that he is a Trump appointee.
But when Kelly granted CNN's request to at least temporarily restore Acosta's press pass, Arter came off as a bit dejected, turning in another unusually balanced article that again failed to note that the judge is a Trump appointee. She did follow up, though, with an article giving heavy play to the White House's claim that it was drawing up "rules and regulations" for reporter conduct.
CNS couldn't stop the bias, though -- one article touted right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro, who has a law degree but no apparent expertise in media law, insisting that "no major precedent was set" in the ruling, and another quoting Trump saying the ruling is "not a big deal" (though this one did admit Kelly was a Trump appointee). Another post, by managing editor Michael W. Chapman, called on former CNN host Larry King, whose current show airs on Russian propaganda channel RT -- something Chapman curiously failed to tell his readers -- to complain that CNN "is not a news network" anymore.
Still, CNS' animus toward Acosta is such that it published a Nov. 19 article -- anonymously written under the "CNSNews.com Staff" byline -- trying to suggest that Acosta told an actionable lie when he stated in a court filing "under penalty of perjury" that he "politely" questioned Trump.