The White House Shouldn’t Have Revoked Jim Acosta’s Credentials because CNN Should Have Fired Him First

There’s a standard story in recruiting where a candidate for a high-level position treats the receptionist poorly. As a result, the hiring manager rejects the candidate because anyone who treats a receptionist that way isn’t the type of person you’d want to hire.

The modern, updated version of that is how Jim Acosta treated an intern and the President at a press conference. If you haven’t seen a video, here’s what happened.


Love him or hate him, President Trump is in charge at this press conference, and Acosta had asked his question and received an answer.  He actually received quite a long answer. But, a single answer wasn’t what Acosta came for–it appeared that Acosta came prepared to debate and argue. The purpose of a press conference isn’t to debate and argue–it’s to get questions answered. The President answered and it was someone else’s turn.

To keep reading, click here: The White House Shouldn’t Have Revoked Jim Acosta’s Credentials because CNN Should Have Fired Him First

Related Posts

59 thoughts on “The White House Shouldn’t Have Revoked Jim Acosta’s Credentials because CNN Should Have Fired Him First

  1. A good perspective I hadn’t really considered – Acosta needs to shoulder some blame.

    As a side note, the Inc articles are so painful to read with their autoplay video taking up so much real estate and the header eating another inch. I wish they’d take some feedback but I know people have been asking them to make the page more readable on a laptop screen for a long time and they simply haven’t listened.

    1. Spot on Kiara – on both comments. Trying to avoid letting politics cloud everything is tough and I needed some perspective on this situation.

      AND, UGH with Being able to read two inches of copy at a time between the ads is so annoying (and unhelpful to the advertisers – if Inc. won’t listen, maybe I’ll start emailing them).

  2. Sorry, Suzanne, but I’m going to have to go the other way on this. The expectation that any resistance to this administration should remain perfectly courteous, respectful, and professional is unrealistic. This was not an isolated incident between Trump and Acosta–this was the result of more than two years of systematic abuse and unprofessional behavior from Trump directed toward a political rival–and to say we should remove the politics from the situation is ignoring the major point of conflict. The anti-Trump side taking the moral high ground is part of the problem; all it does is allow those willing to forego morals and integrity to bias the conflict in their favor. I wish Democrats in Congress had the willingness to resist with the conviction Acosta showed in that presser.

    1. Seconded. Comparing a White House press conference to standard corporate norms is misguided and, with all due respect, silly.

  3. No matter the side you are on in this debate, it is really getting out of hand when a journalist is only trying to forward a one sided agenda. News please, not your opinion Mr. Acosta.

    1. Doesn’t matter I what the reporters intent was. There are protocols so in place for dealing with the treatment of reporters access. Lying about “hands on the intern” and taking away access without going through the White Houses own established process shows prejudice and a one sided agenda on the White Houses part. What the WH did was an extreme misreaction to a minor squabble.

  4. I like how this article blatantly ignores the staffer who got physically aggressive with Acosta while she pulled the mic away. Shouldn’t she be fired?

    Stop ignoring the truth.

    1. I’m with you. I didn’t see any particular rudeness by Acosta towards the intern. He resisted her trying to snatch the mic from him (which, I’m guessing, she was told to do). But rudeness? Please explain.

  5. “CNN should have fired him”

    Sadly, that’s part of the problem – they won’t. “Journalists” like Acosta and Jorge Ramos are not journalists in the true sense of the word; they are trying to push forward their own agenda while also boosting ratings by becoming the news instead of simply reporting it.

    Their supporters believe that they should “resist” the Trump administration by any means necessary; including going after folks personally (when out in a restaurant or even in their own homes) is quite telling in how desperate/despicable they are.

    As far as the intern trying to “take away the mic” – that was her job. He had his turn and should have given her the mic – willingly. I guess Trump should have done like my congressman did when he held a town hall meeting on Obamacare – don’t give the mic to anyone but known supporters!

    But, what do I know as I’m just a member of the basket of deplorables!?

      1. At least Hannity’s honest about being a commentator, as opposed to a supposedly objective journalist. Personally, I found it both disgusting and amusing to watch D.C. “journalists” suddenly turning back into snarling watchdogs fearlessly speaking truth to power early on the morning of January 20, 2017, after eight solid years of Obama-era presidential press conferences that were little more than worship services.

    1. I agree that Acosta took up a lot of time at the press conference, and could have yielded the mic more readily. I hardly think that’s a reason for a news organization to fire him.

      I wonder Charles if then consider Hannity and Pirro “journalists” when they appear at a Trump rally, as part of essentially a political arm of his campaign? I’m guessing in your mind they are impartial parties not pushing any particular agenda of their own or their owners….

      1. Now stop that! Guessing what is in my mind?
        How about reading what I wrote and not putting words in my mouth. Please read what I wrote – I never mentioned Hannity or Pirro. Not that it is relevant (neither one has been a White House press correspondent as far as I know); but, I don’t consider them journalists either. Opinion makers, yes, fact finding journalists. No. But, they don’t pretend to be either.

  6. Sorry, no.

    He did nothing wrong. Trump (I refuse to call him the P word) has been attacking the press in fascist fashion. Acosta had more than one question, and Trump’s answers were not even answers but a tantrum. Acosta did not touch the intern in any way. I watched the unaltered video, as did millions of other people.

    The fact that Sanders released a doctored video with the full support of this administration should be utterly appalling to you. It’s Orwellian. It’s gaslighting, and it’s abusive behavior from the enablers of an abusive person. Lucky they’re stupid and inept at it and most people can see it for what it is—except the cult members, of course.

    The press should absolutely be demanding real answers from him. Too bad he has none to give.

      1. ^This x1000

        While I enjoy EvilHRLady’s perspectives and have followed her for years, I’m done. This was not a situation to be used to highlight professional misconduct.
        What Elizabeth West says sums it all up, so I won’t say it again, but I’d ask EHRL not to become an enabler too.

  7. Disappointed in this article. Seems very biased. The Press are actually trying to get answers from the President, not lies and deceit. Acosta pushes back and he is the bad guy? Which version of the video are you viewing? The doctored one the WH used?

    This may be another example of why political discussion needs to stay out of the workplace.

  8. The President may be in charge, but freedom of the press is paramount. The president drives the tone and continually displays inappropriate hostility toward the press. This president behaves like a 6-year-old; name calling, interrupts reporters before they have finished their question, doesn’t answer questions, changes the subject and rants. Jim Acosta simply wants to do the job he is paid to do; reporting news to the public.

  9. Suzanne, not one of your better articles, and I agree with another comment that there may be some bias here, which you have shown previously (and maybe don’t realize it?). Politicians, their staff, and the press getting into it is old news. I don’t condone bad behavior, but this certainly isn’t the first time I’ve seen a nasty, combative press conference. What your article and some of the resulting comments prove is what we in HR already know – leave your friggin’ political views at home and save them for Facebook!!

      1. Of course there are biases! We all have biases. And I’m not a hard news journalist. I offer commentary and opinion.

        For the record, I’m a free market capitalist and a strict constitutionalist. With that you can see that it’s difficult for me to find a candidate I support.

        1. “With that you can see that it’s difficult for me to find a candidate I support.”

          So true!

    1. I disagree with EHRL on this one (heck, even Fox News disagrees based on the amicus brief they’re filing in support of CNN’s suite against the White House for revoking Acosta’s credentials), but don’t you think it’s a bit patronizing to suggest she somehow isn’t aware of her own “biases”?

      Frankly, I’m baffled by the idea that our political views somehow aren’t relevant to HR issues, or that they don’t impact what we view as right and appropriate in the workplace. I do think that it tends to muddy the water more than anything else when she references more explicitly politicized events, but I do appreciate that she’s always been upfront about her views.

      Even when she’s hella wrong 😉

  10. Nope. CNN should not fire Acosta. Yes, I do agree that he had a chance to ask his question, and he got an answer (which was really a nonanswer). Acosta rightly pushed back on that answer, as a journalist, and that’s what journalists sometimes do. Networks shouldn’t fire journalists for assertively asking questions. Acosta got to ask a couple of questions, though, and should have just relinquished the mic. But he was not aggressive with the intern. He was simply not allowing her to take the mic. It’s not a fireable offense for a journalist, nor should it be — else journalists would then be hesitant to push back with more questions when they need to.

  11. First of all,thank you for presenting a non bias opinion on that transaction. Regardless of where anyone’s opinions are, I thought there’s supposedly a mandated decorum for any press in the White House press room, and if you misbehave, you loose your access pass, period. Acosta has been warned several times about his behavior and he believes that he is a privileged person immune to being held responsible for his behavior. His reaction to his access being removed was a predictable tantrum. For CNN to allow this behavior and his continued employment means that they are biased and will do anything for continued ratings than actual report facts.
    Like this article states, if you evaluate the same continued misbehavior in such a public representation of a company, the logical reaction is for instantaneous firing, as that press pass was not his to squander as it lowers access to all CNN reporter. I am surprised that he still has a job. Especially in this so sensitive PC world. He failed to follow the rules of decorum by being so combative and self centered, in other words he doesn’t want to share the microphone time with others.
    Sounds like a child who doesn’t want to share his toys and throws tantrums when finally forced to face the consequences. There’s no political issue here.

    1. The White House is combative, refuses to be transparent to the people who elected this administration, and relentlessly bullies journalists. It’s pretty crazy to see that any other way. The people are not being heard and are not being allowed to see what is going on. It’s a journalist’s job to counter that, to make noise and alert the people. Decorum be damned – where is your president’s decorum?! Seriously.

      1. I completely disagree. As someone who severely dislikes Trump and his presidency, I think the news media is partially to blame as well. Individuals such as Acosta and Hannity know their base and do things to rile people up. Why? Riled up people watch news, more people watching news means higher ratings, higher ratings means more money. Acosta and Hannity alike both know what they are doing. This whole thing with Acosta and the White House is the best thing that has ever happened to Acosta’s career. Don’t let your blind hatred of Trump clout your critical thinking abilities.

    2. Very amusing that you posted this comment right after the author basically admits that she and we all have biases and that hers is opinion and commentary.

      Hilarious that you can say “there is no political issue here” when in fact that is about all there is to the story!

    3. there are rules in place for how the press can act at the White House, also in place is the 1st amendment, which allows for freedom of the press.

      Acosta’s behavior did not cross the line on either press protocol or 1st amendment. if the White House has issues in regrards to his behavior, they are free to NOT call on him during press conferences (which is different from removing access). Rudeness or ill manners are not against the WH rules, and follow up questions are were not against the rules. Claiming that Acosta should shoulder the blame for being pushy is silly and a cry baby behavior. The news is more than only reporting the official statements made by the White House – it is questioning and raising concerns and exploring impacts and getting details.

  12. How disappointing to see this issue pop up on this blog. This has nothing to do with HR, but besides that, the opinion presented here is not well-researched and is rooted in business norms rather than the norms that (should, but often don’t) exist in this highly visible slice of the public sector.

  13. Nope. I work with the media for the living and it’s a place for questions. All questions. Multiple questions. Any question.

    The speaker can punt or decline to answer but he doesn’t engage with the media in a traditional or acceptable fashion. This article is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    1. How much money do you make? Are you married? Have you ever been fired? What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done? Have you ever cheated on a romantic partner? What was your middle school GPA? High school GPA? Have you ever said something racist? Are you sure? Have you ever said something sexist? What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever said? Do you own a house? If you don’t why not?

      1. I see your point, but that’s not cute, and it’s not an accurate representation of how an interview goes. Journalists can ask anything. Interviewees can decline to answer. That’s how it works. End of story.

  14. I suggest you steer away from politics.
    Based on your feedback you are receiving that message load and clear.

    1. Nah, I’ve gotten mixed feedback as I knew I would. Lots of people liked it. Lots of people hated it. Not too many people in the middle comment, which is normal.

      I like using examples that are in the news because everyone already knows about them.

      I could use examples of people you don’t know and for whom video doesn’t exist but it’s not as effective and it doesn’t result in discussion. I like discussion!

      There are plenty of people who I know and respect who disagree with me. I’m good with that. I like reading things from opposing points of view. Sometimes it even makes me change my mind.

  15. Actually, the first time I saw the video — the one that wasn’t deceptively edited — before the whole uproar arose, I thought the intern was out of line. I’ve watched both versions now, and still feel like she was more at fault in escalating the situation than was Acosta. There are few arenas in American life in which someone can just — without notice — lay their hands on someone else. It’s almost never done in a professional setting. Even a doctor announces what they are doing before touching a patient. The intern should have — politely — asked for the microphone before just grabbing it. I think most people would have responded probably less professionally than Acosta.

  16. Love the EHRL blog.

    I write as a news reporter but also someone who is fairly conservative. I’m a “Never Trump” but, generally, vote Republican — and I do keep it out of the reporting.

    I also don’t believe Acosta was in the wrong at all.

    The President sets the tone. If he’s civil and doesn’t get personal in snarky answers, the replies won’t be snarky as well.

    The intern snatching the microphone away was the Soup Nazi cashier snatching away George’s soup.

  17. Decorum? This administration has no basis to expect decorum or even basic civility from anyone. If they want to play fascist games the’ll get this kind of push back and it’s ridiculous to call out Acosta and not the intern for “rudeness.” Rudeness is the least the administration should expect, they’ve been the ones lowering the bar on civility since day one. If you can dish it out and that’s the way you want to play, you’d better be able to take it.

    1. So Rep.Steve Scalise deserved to get shot by a deranged Bernie bro? And Sen. Rand Paul deserved to get beaten (multiple broken ribs) by his left-wing neighbor?

      1. No one said that. But it’s clear the admin is playing by different rules, hoping their opponents will take the high road as usual. So which is it, too weak to stand against them, or criminals? Those aren’t the only options.

      2. Dude, if you dump your leaf litter and tree debris on your neighbors lawn you gotta expect to be tackled and some minor rib damage. It’s not about politics, it’s about community standards and not being a jerk.

        the ballpark shooting was done by a person who had problems, just like gabby giffords was shot by soneone with problems,

  18. I think there are some constitutional issues here, and now it will be decided in the courts. The First Amendment is a big deal and protects the press quite a bit. Also, the legal precedence is that there is some kind of due process before a pass is revoked, so that both parties can defend themselves. There was no due process here. I think Acosta was more polite than the intern, who really seemed to be a lot of the problem here. If the press doesn’t push back (figuratively), who will? White House press push back hard on all presidents, and if they don’t, they’re not doing their jobs. I think the fact that Sanders sent out a doctored video to be forwarded relentlessly and without prejudice by the followers of the president, many of whom simply cannot look at something objectively, shows the WH frame of mind. It goes something like this – “Be incredibly rude and vulgar and lie multiple times a day. When the press push back, blame them. When they really push back, make stuff up and forward conspiracy theories on Twitter. When someone attacks said media with a bomb, downplay our role in forwarding false information to people who don’t question it.”

    This story fits into their agenda, and is not about Acosta breaking rules or being rude. He was very calm and yes, kept interrupting to try to get answers to his questions. And I agree with someone above: if you believe Acosta should be fired, then so should the intern. Also, the fact that the story from the White House is now in its third generation tells you that they are making stuff up to match what they want to do.

    Also, these are not acceptable answers to the press:

    “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN. And if you did it well, your ratings would be better.”

    “CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN … You’re a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee [Sanders] is horrible and the way you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way.”

    Acosta did not get personal with the president and was very calm.

    Anyway, I think we can discuss these things like adults here – and I appreciate your perspective Suzanne, as always. Even if I disagree. It’s more important than ever to listen to each other. 🙂

    1. This is not a first amendment issue. Also, the POTUS answered each question and “Acoster” kept antagonizing and arguing, that’s why he followed up with those responses (which were quite applicable.) President Trump should have answered just once and stopped engaging, which is obviously quite difficult for him to do. He could’ve stopped the whole circus by answering once, not responding to the badgering and calling the next reporter. And there was no doctored video, it was only slowed down to see all of the details, not doctored. If Acosta’s job is to grandstand, push his liberal agenda, harass and disrespect the office of the POTUS and also the time of the other reporters, then I guess he shouldn’t be fired. But the Intern was doing her job as instructed, so there would be no grounds for her being fired.

      1. Actually, when one branch of Government — the Executive — seeks to muzzle a member of the Press, based on the content of his questions, that is a 1st Amendment issue.

  19. That’s right “me too incidents” only count against Republicans, not handsy journalists that show no respect for the Presidency or young interns.

  20. Trump-haters gonna trash his behavior. Trump supporters are going to play apologist. Seriously, take the article for the message. So many people in the comments getting on their political soapbox with righteous indignation. Got news for you… Trump is and has always been a total jerk. Why would you expect any more from him? This Acosta fellow knows this and shouldn’t have acted like such a baby. He only feeds into Trump’s narcissism. Total publicity stunt and you all fell for it.

    I’ll now go back to watching the red and blue teams cry at each other.

  21. It appears he is not appearing as a Journalist.
    Regarding the caravan, he(CNN) could have made an audience with Mexican Prime Minister to confirm.

    Or he could have gone to the border to take photos and videos for evidence.

    But instead he is questioning the President of USA.

    America looks hypocritical, with the 1st Amendment and 5th Amendment.

    You can shout to the President of USA but you cannot shout or question a Judge at a hearing.

Comments are closed.

Are you looking for a new HR job? Or are you trying to hire a new HR person? Either way, hop on over to Evil HR Jobs, and you'll find what you're looking for.