First Amendment Fires.

This week, preparing for this blog there were two main issues that I wanted to discuss, both different but both very important in our country currently. One a violation of the first amendment and the other a life and death natural disaster. One involves the White House suspending a CNN reporter’s credentials, the President of the United States having a temper tantrum and insulting him. The other while completely different still revolves around Trump opening his mouth (or using his tweeting fingers) when he really should not. This involves the fires breaking out in California, killing 42 and hundreds of thousands of people dispersed from their homes and all their property.

First off, in a stunning break with protocol, the White House suspended the press pass of CNN reporter Jim Acosta. This happened hours after Acosta made Trump upset by asking multiple questions at a post-midterms news conference. Trump, being Trump, insulted him and called him a “terrible” person. Removing his press pass due to “inappropriate behavior” at the presidential news conference. CNN and other journalism advocacy groups rejected that assertion and said that his press pass should be immediately reinstated. On Friday, CNN sent a letter to the White House formally requesting the reinstatement of Acosta’s pass and if not to expect a lawsuit. Just this morning, CNN filed said lawsuit against Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, press secretary Sarah Sanders, deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, the director of the Secret Service, and the Secret Service officer who took his hard pass away. Immediately seeking a preliminary injunction as soon as possible so that Acosta can return to the White House right away and a ruling from the court preventing the White House from revoking his pass in the future.

I wish I could say that this surprises me, but it doesn’t. I’m more surprised that it hasn’t happened sooner. While during his presidential campaign Trump said that he would not kick reporters out. But once he was elected it was reported that he mused about taking away credentials. He then tweeted about it in May saying “take away credentials?”. Then after blacklisting Acosta on Friday he added, “It could be others also,” along with naming and insulting another CNN analyst. If I were CNN, I would have filed a lawsuit as well, with the Trump administration banning a journalist from the White House violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights to freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. Both of which the administration is in violation of. The good news is that the First Amendment is on CNN’s side, and they have a strong case to get this overturned. Trump cannot pick and choose who he wants in the press room or who he wants interviewing him. Other presidents before him, both Republication and Democratic administrations have had a greater access for all outlets regardless of party affiliation. A journalist has a right to access places closed to the public, but open to the press. That includes press rooms and news conferences. If access normally includes the press, then that type of access can’t be denied, the administration has to have compelling facts to ban them. In this case, the Trump Administration does not. This banning is solely based on content discrimination against a journalist, and because Trump does not like him.

Lastly, changing the topic slightly, I want to quickly bring up the awful forest fires continuously burning in California. This fire so far has killed 42 with hundreds missing still and hundreds of thousands of people having to evacuate from their homes with little notice. While this natural disaster continues to burn, and thousands of fire fighters are putting their lives in danger. Trump decided to tweet about it. Blaming the fires on “poor forest management,”

There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments! – @RealDonaldTrump

…and threatening to take away their government funding. Ending the ridiculous tweet with,

With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get smart! – @RealDonaldTrump

Yes, our President decided to use an exclamation point, while blaming California for the fires that have so far killed 42 people. The fact is that a lot of the forests in California are owned by the federal government or private companies, not in fact the state of California. The Trump administration was the one to cut the funding from these programs. Also these fires that are happening are worse than any other fires that have hit the US. The reason for that researchers say is because of climate change. In a warming world, vegetation dries out faster and burns more easily, creating worse and more deadly fires. Climate change and the Trump administration is a topic for another day, but know this. People are dying. People’s homes, belongings and memories are being burned away in fires that could potentially be stopped by funding climate change research and actually BELIEVING the scientists and their data.

Mr. President. Do better and be better. Stop tweeting blame out to people who do not deserve it, and start owning up to your own mistakes and try to fix them. For the sake of every American, from the journalists fighting battles with their pens to the firefighters risking their lives to fight fires.

 

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