CNN Sues White House Over Revocation Of Correspondent’s Press Pass

CNN fires back in the Administration's ongoing war with the news media.

CNN has filed a lawsuit seeking the restoration of the press pass of their White House Correspondent Jim Acosta, who saw his press pass revoked last week after an incident at President Trump’s post-midterm press conference:

CNN sued the Trump administration on Tuesday in an effort to reinstate the press credentials of its chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, escalating a dispute that has highlighted the increasingly tense dynamic between President Trump and the news media.

In a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court, the network argued that the removal of Mr. Acosta’s White House press pass constituted a violation of his First Amendment rights to freely report on the government. CNN also alleged that the administration had violated Mr. Acosta’s due process rights by revoking his credentials without warning.

Mr. Acosta, who has clashed with Mr. Trump on several occasions, angered the president at a formal news conference last week with questions about immigration and the special counsel’s investigation. The CNN correspondent would not relinquish the microphone after Mr. Trump attempted to move onto another reporter.

Hours later, the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, announced that the administration had removed Mr. Acosta’s credentials, which allowed him access to the White House grounds. The administration claimed falsely that Mr. Acosta had placed his hands on a White House intern who had tried to take his microphone away during the news conference.

“While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone,” CNN said in a statement. “If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

Ms. Sanders responded shortly after the lawsuit was filed.

“This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit,” the press secretary wrote in a statement, noting that dozens of other CNN journalists have retained their White House credentials.

In her comment, Ms. Sanders made no mention of her original claim that Mr. Acosta had reacted inappropriately with the intern. Instead, she wrote that “he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions.”

“The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional,” Ms. Sanders wrote.

Mr. Acosta, who has a reputation as a showboat among some his press corps colleagues, is not the first White House reporter to aggressively question a president in public. One of his predecessors, the ABC correspondent Sam Donaldson, said in a memo filed with CNN’s lawsuit that he knew of no precedent for a journalist’s credentials being yanked and “never would have imagined such action was possible.”

In turning to the courts, CNN has taken perhaps the most aggressive action yet by a news organization against a president who has systematically vilified journalists and media outlets since starting his campaign in 2015. Mr. Trump’s denigration of the news media as “the enemy of the American people” — and his popularization of “fake news” as a way to dismiss critical coverage — has alarmed press freedom groups around the world.

Supporters of Mr. Trump, though, are likely to seize on the lawsuit as evidence for the president’s claim that news organizations, especially CNN, are biased against him. “CNN sucks!” has been a frequent chant at Mr. Trump’s rallies.

Floyd Abrams, the noted First Amendment lawyer, said in an interview on Tuesday that the network’s legal action was necessary, even as he acknowledged the potential political fallout.

“I can understand the reluctance — at a time when the president is saying, ‘CNN is hostile to me’ — for a lawsuit to be filed with the caption ‘CNN v. Donald Trump,'” Mr. Abrams said. “That said, sometimes a strong response is necessary, both for the institution itself and for the broader cause for which it effectively speaks.”

More from CNN itself:

CNN has filed a lawsuit against President Trump and several of his aides, seeking the immediate restoration of chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s access to the White House.

The lawsuit is a response to the White House’s suspension of Acosta’s press pass, known as a Secret Service “hard pass,” last week. The suit alleges that Acosta and CNN’s First and Fifth Amendment rights are being violated by the ban.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday morning.

Both CNN and Acosta are plaintiffs in the lawsuit. There are six defendants: Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, press secretary Sarah Sanders, deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, Secret Service director Randolph Alles, and the Secret Service officer who took Acosta’s hard pass away last Wednesday.

The six defendants are all named because of their roles in enforcing and announcing Acosta’s suspension.

Sanders responded to the suit by saying that CNN is “grandstanding” by suing. She said the administration will “vigorously defend” itself.

Last Wednesday, shortly after Acosta was denied entry to the White House grounds, Sanders defended the unprecedented step by claiming that he had behaved inappropriately at a presidential news conference. CNN and numerous journalism advocacy groups rejected that assertion and said his pass should be reinstated.

On Friday, CNN sent a letter to the White House formally requesting the immediate reinstatement of Acosta’s pass and warning of a possible lawsuit, the network confirmed.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, CNN said it is 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 Acosta’s pass in the future.
“CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court,” the statement read. “It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates

CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process.”

The White House Correspondents’ Association said it “strongly supports CNN’s goal of seeing their correspondent regain a US Secret Service security credential that the White House should not have taken away in the first place.”

CNN also asserted that other news organizations could have been targeted by the Trump administration this way, and could be in the future.

“While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone,” the network said. “If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

(…)

As the prospect of a lawsuit loomed on Sunday, attorney Floyd Abrams, one of the country’s most respected First Amendment lawyers, said the relevant precedent is a 1977 ruling in favor of Robert Sherrill, a muckraking journalist who was denied access to the White House in 1966.

Eleven years later, a D.C. Court of Appeals judge ruled that the Secret Service had to establish “narrow and specific” standards for judging applicants. In practice, the key question is whether the applicant would pose a threat to the president.

The code of federal regulations states that “in granting or denying a request for a security clearance made in response to an application for a White House press pass, officials of the Secret Service will be guided solely by the principle of whether the applicant presents a potential source of physical danger to the President and/or the family of the President so serious as to justify his or her exclusion from White House press privileges.”

There are other guidelines as well. Abrams said the case law specifies that before a press pass is denied, “you have to have notice, you have to have a chance to respond, and you have to have a written opinion by the White House as to what it’s doing and why, so the courts can examine it.”

“We’ve had none of those things here,” Abrams said.

That’s why the lawsuit is alleging a violation of the Fifth Amendment right to due process.

Acosta found out about his suspension when he walked up to the northwest gate of the White House, as usual, for a Wednesday night live shot. He was abruptly told to turn in his “hard pass,” which speeds up entry and exit from the grounds.

“I was just told to do it,” the Secret Service officer said.

Other CNN reporters and producers continue to work from the White House grounds, but not Acosta.

“Relevant precedent says that a journalist has a First Amendment right of access to places closed to the public but open generally to the press. That includes press rooms and news conferences,” Jonathan Peters, a media law professor at the University of Georgia, told CNN last week. “In those places, if access is generally inclusive of the press, then access can’t be denied arbitrarily or absent compelling reasons.

And the reasons that the White House gave were wholly unconvincing and uncompelling.”

CNN released a statement via Twitter, and also released statements from various legal authorities which you can see as part of the threaded tweet on the timeline of its Communications Office:

And the White House issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit:

“We have been advised that CNN has filed a complaint challenging the suspension of Jim Acosta’s hard pass. This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit.

CNN, who has nearly 50 additional hard pass holders, and Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment. After Mr. Acosta asked the President two questions—each of which the President answered—he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions. This was not the first time this reporter has inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters.

The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional. The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolize the floor. If there is no check on this type of behavior it impedes the ability of the President, the White House staff, and members of the media to conduct business.”

The incident that allegedly prompted the White House to revoke Acosta’s press pass occurred just a few days ago at the press conference that President Trump held in the wake of the midterm elections. I’ll let The New York Times White House Correspondent Peter Baker, who was at this press conference, describe what happened:

WASHINGTON — President Trump took the exceedingly rare step of suspending the White House credentials of Jim Acosta, the chief White House correspondent for CNN, on Wednesday after an intense verbal clash at a news conference earlier in the day.

During a testy session with reporters after Tuesday’s midterm elections, Mr. Trump recognized Mr. Acosta for a question. Their exchange grew heated when Mr. Acosta repeatedly challenged the president’s characterization of a Central American migrant caravan as an invasion. Mr. Trump responded by lashing out at Mr. Acosta, saying, “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country — you run CNN.”

Mr. Acosta, who was in the front row just feet from the president, refused several times to sit down or to return a microphone to a White House intern who sought to retrieve it. When he finally did give up the microphone, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Acosta was “a rude, terrible person.”

“You shouldn’t be working for CNN,” the president said.

When Mr. Acosta tried to re-enter the White House on Wednesday evening for a live shot for his network, a Secret Service officer asked him to hand over his “hard pass,” which grants journalists access to the compound. Mr. Acosta captured the episode in a grainy video on his cellphone and posted it to Twitter.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, who has also repeatedly clashed with Mr. Acosta during televised briefings at the White House, announced the decision, claiming falsely that Mr. Acosta had placed “his hands on a young woman” who was responsible for giving the microphone to reporters asking questions.

“The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it is an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this administration,” Ms. Sanders said.

The confrontation with the president came during a fractious encounter with reporters, only the third formal solo news conference held by Mr. Trump at the White House. In addition to clashing with Mr. Acosta, he scolded several other reporters he deemed offensive, including Peter Alexander of NBC, April D. Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks and Yamiche Alcindor of PBS.

Mr. Trump repeatedly told Ms. Ryan to sit down, and he complained that a query by Ms. Alcindor was a “racist question.”

The decision to yank Mr. Acosta’s credentials, effectively denying him access to the White House and the president’s staff, was a nuclear-level response by the president and the administration’s communications staff after more than two years of escalating tensions between the CNN correspondent, the president and the president’s aides.

Coming the day after Mr. Trump’s party suffered significant losses in Tuesday’s midterm elections, the action sent a signal to other journalists that the president was willing to do what has almost never been done by his predecessors in modern times: blacklist a mainstream journalist from coverage at the White House.

Late Wednesday, CNN denounced the decision. “It was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today’s press conference,” the network said in a statement. “In an explanation, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied. She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened. This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy, and the country deserves better.”

A review of the video from the news conference did not suggest that Mr. Acosta put his hands on the woman, and a reporter who was present said that the White House account was not true.

“I was seated next to @Acosta at today’s press conference and did not witness him ‘placing his hands’ on the young intern, as the White House alleges,” Jeff Mason, a White House correspondent for Reuters, wrote on Twitter. “He held on to the microphone as she reached for it.”

This entire incident isn’t occurring in a vacuum, of course. For the better part of the Trump Administration the relationship between the Trump Administration and the press has been fairly toxic, with both the President and his Press Secretaries, first Sean Spicer and then Sarah Huckabee Sanders, attacking the network as the hallmark of what the President calls “Fake News,” which of course we know means any news that the President considers to be critical of him or which holds him in a negative light. As the primary voice of his network at the White House, Acosta has of course borne the brunt of these attacks and he has fought back by becoming more and more aggressive in pursuing answers to his questions, and stepping in at press conferences and increasingly rare White House press briefings when it is clear that he and his network are being ignored. Some media critics and especially many conservatives have accused Acosta of grandstanding and, in one respect, I suppose there is some truth in that regard. At the same time, though, one could argue that the treatment that CNN in general and Acosta specifically have been on the receiving end of from this White House has been unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the modern history of the Presidency.

While there have been tense moments in the past involving individual correspondents and the White House — such as Dan Rather’s relationship with President Nixon and his Press Secretary Ron Ziglar and of course the classic and memorable confrontations between Sam Donaldson and President Reagan and his Press Secretaries — none of them have come close to the conflict between President Trump and the Administration on one side and Acosta and CNN on the other. Both Trump and Sanders have displayed nothing short of utter contempt toward CNN generally and Acosta specifically even when Acosta has quite clearly done his best to be as respectful as possible in asking questions that quite obviously deserve an answer. Given that history, the fact that it ultimately came to the point where the Administration revoked Acosta’s press pass is hardly surprising. This is the direction the deteriorating relationship has been headed for quite some time, and while one can place some of the blame on Acosta to the extent that he sometimes does seem to be playing for the cameras, the fact of the matter is that the White House is a government operation and it should not be permitted to use its power to determine who has access to the press office to punish political enemies in this manner.

As noted, there isn’t a whole lot of legal precedent regarding this kind of case, but there have been a handful of lawsuits over the years regarding the issuance or denial of press passes by the White House that seems to work to CNN’s advantage in this particular case. Generally speaking, the decisions in those cases appear to stand for the principle that the White House cannot deny a press pass to a legitimate news organization or reporter unless it can be shown that the person in question poses a security risk to the President or other White House personnel. In Acosta’s case, there is precisely no evidence that this is the case. The “evidence” that the White House relied on to support of its decision, for example, is the allegation that Acosta essentially assaulted a White House Intern who tried to take the pool microphone away from him. However, neither the available video evidence nor the eyewitness reports from the reporters who were in the room and saw the event support that version of events and, interestingly enough, the statement issued today in response to the lawsuit makes no reference at all to an alleged assault and instead accuse him of trying to monopolize the press conference. This doesn’t come anywhere close to making out a case that Acosta is a threat to anyone’s safety.

In addition to these standards,  the 1977 case noted above also established the principle that a reporter seeking a press pass, or from whom one has been revoked, is entitled to some form of due process. That has not occurred in this case, and it is clear that had it been granted that the most likely outcome would be that the pass would not have been revoked to begin with. Given these twin standards, it seems to me as if CNN and Acosta have a good case. Moreover, with legal eagles like Ted Olsen on their side, and no less a First Amendment authority than the great Floyd Abrams, who has been at the center of some of the most important Freedom of the Press cases of the past fifty years, arguing in their favor, the argument that the network makes in its Complaint seems especially strong.

Neither the decision to revoke Acosta’s press pass nor the contemptuous and inexcusable manner in which Trump has treated CNN and its employee should come as a surprise. From the time he entered the Presidential campaign more than three years ago right to today, this President has demonstrated that he has nothing but utter contempt for the media and freedom of the press. This, after all, is the President who has referred to the press as the “enemy of the people” on many occasions. On other occasions, both he and members of his Administration has suggested that the media should be criminally charged for publishing leaked information even when that information isn’t classified. At a rally in Arizona last year, Trump upped his anti-media rhetoric by referring to members of the media as ”sick people” who “don’t like our country,” and who are “trying to take away our history and our heritage.” Recently, Trump admitted that when he said that when he refers to “Fake News” he means any news coverage that is critical of him or his Administration regardless of whether it’s true or not. Finally, the President has admitted that the purpose behind all of these attacks on the media is quite simple in that it is aimed at discrediting the media in the minds of his supporters so that they won’t believe any of the bad news that is reported about his or his Administration. When he was on the campaign trail before Election Day, Trump lavished praise on Congressman Greg Gianforte, who is best known as the guy who assaulted a reporter for asking a question about health care reform. This behavior and rhetoric on the President’s part has, obviously, trickled down to those who work for him. most especially Sarah Sanders, who treats Acosta and other reporters who dare to ask hard questions with nothing but contempt and sees nothing wrong with openly insulting them even during a broadcast press briefing. Of course, given the fact that the President himself does this himself it’s no surprise that those who work for him act the same way. Whether the courts will finally rein them in remains to be seen.

Here’s the Complaint:

CNN Et Al v. Trump Et Al by on Scribd

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, First Amendment, Law and the Courts, Media, Politicians, U.S. Constitution, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    Initially I was on Acosta’s side, but then I watched SHS’s linked video of him beating that poor intern horribly–which Kellyanne insists wasn’t doctored.

    The nunchucks were too far, Jim.

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  2. Another interested outsider... says:

    @Teve:

    It wasn’t doctored, just “sped uo” like they do all the time in sports, according to her. *Facepalm*

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/kellyanne-conway-says-jim-acosta-video-was-sped-not-doctored-n935196

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  3. Mister Bluster says:

    What is Pud whining about now?
    They didn’t do anything about this guy!

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  4. Teve says:

    SHS and the rest of the evangelicals have taken the Trump opportunity to completely debase and humiliate themselves. And in the end America will be better for it.

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  5. al Ameda says:

    @Teve:

    Initially I was on Acosta’s side, but then I watched SHS’s linked video of him beating that poor intern horribly–which Kellyanne insists wasn’t doctored.
    The nunchucks were too far, Jim.

    I had to look away when he ‘tased her

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  6. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    This is easy to see as a side-show…but at the complaint reads, it is “an unabashed attempt to censor the press “…and should be treated as such.
    Apparently CNN tried to talk this out with the WH but they refused…leaving CNN little choice.
    Dennison’s twitter feed will come back to haunt him, once again, in this case.

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  7. An Interested Party says:

    Dennison’s twitter feed will come back to haunt him, once again, in this case.

    How often would he have succeeded at something that he ultimately failed by not keeping his tiny fingers to himself…

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  8. Kathy says:

    The poor Cheeto’s been having a rough time lately. First he lost the House, then one of his boyfriends chastised him in public, then another of his boyfriends cheated on him with some missiles (of all things!), and now this.

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  9. Teve says:

    @Kathy: I know you were as surprised as I was to find out NoKo is currently advancing its nuclear program at 16 sites.

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  10. Joe says:

    “I can understand the reluctance — at a time when the president is saying, ‘CNN is hostile to me’ — for a lawsuit to be filed with the caption ‘CNN v. Donald Trump,’” Mr. Abrams said.

    If Trump was actually saying that ‘CNN (or the press in general) is hostile to me,’ I might say, yeah, yes they are, and we could discuss whether they have reason to be. But what Trump is constantly saying is that CNN is hostile to ‘the people,’ thus conflating himself with the people and asserting that any attack on him is an attack on the people. That’s the BS of Trump’s press screed.

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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    and while one can place some of the blame on Acosta to the extent that he sometimes does seem to be playing for the cameras,

    Ummmm…. He’s a TV news reporter. Playing for the cameras is literally his job. As for grandstanding, that is really rich coming from the GOP and the Grandstander in Chief admin.

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  12. Pylon says:

    Pretty much every serious legal analyst who has commented, including Napolitano on Fox, has come down on Acosta’s side in the suit.

    I’m glad they took a stand because, given an inch, Trump would take a mile.

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  13. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have certainly respected the news networks over the years. Costa has done some good work and CNN generally has some good points and features.
    I go back to the days of Conkrite, Kuralt, and Brinkley: professionalism in the news reporting was the standard: not opinionating and “informed source”.
    A few weeks ago Ted Turner was on CBS talking about CNN*. He said that it had too much of a political agenda.
    I have criticized CNN and some of their tactics: over sensationalism and an obsession with sleaze. But CNN has some great reporting in the areas of science, technology, health, and sports. They have excellent features and programs for schools. Their sports coverage is good and if they beefed it up it would they be in there with ESPN. Watch their “Pioneers” reports – great for young people.
    I recently watched some press conferences of President Johnson and President Carter. The reporters were polite and asked questions. They did not hollar out, talk out of turn, or give their own opinions. Johnson was a master politician, a dominant leader of the twentieth century.
    Ted Turner – the last major league baseball owner to actually go into the dugout and manage his Braves. A true renaissance man.

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  14. Hal_10000 says:

    It’s so ridiculous. Trump could let CNN into the White House and just never call on Acosta. That would be a more effective response if he thinks Acosta is out of line. But he’s too petty even for that.

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  15. Resistance Ron says:

    Oh come now.

    It’s not like Trump used the FBI to spy on reporters. Or accused them of being an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case for merely reporting a story. And he hasn’t used the Espionage Act to try and keep people from talking to the press. And as far as I know Trump has not sued Mr. Accoster to make him reveal any of his sources.

    Trump has not decided to not pry open further those dicatorial holes opened by Obama. (Obama gave Trump that inch…. And Trump took none of it you should note.)

    No.

    Trump did the unforgivable. The one thing that no other President in the long history of this great nation had ever done.

    President Trump had the gall to fight back against a hostile press and to say some mean things.

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  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Resistance Ron:
    You know when you regurgitate nonsense from your conspiracy sites it just reaffirms our collective sense that you’re an idiot, right?

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  17. Leonard says:

    @Michael Reynolds: You’d look a lot smarter if you weren’t denying things that really happened.

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  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Leonard:
    You’d look smarter if you knew that they are irrelevant to the matter at hand. Trumpies don’t think well. That’s as kindly as I can put it. They (you?) don’t use their brains in a way that impresses intelligent people.

    There’s a reason for the strong negative correlation between education and support for Trump. He’s the stupid person’s president. I mean, let’s face it, he is. President for Dummies.

    Now, an argument can be made that morons deserve representation, same as any other disadvantaged group. And I’d entertain that notion were it not for the fact that we’re talking about a position that involves control of enough destructive power to end human life on earth. Still, I don’t hate stupid people, I want to see them in mainstream society, I want them to live full and happy lives. I love my dimmer fellow citizens, I’m a liberal, I’m required to. But the fact is the President of the United States is a fcking idiot – and I’m down with idiot rights and all – but he’s not just stupid, he’s a piece of human garbage. A really vile person. Just an absolute pig of a man. Stupid’s one things. A stupid, criminal creep? Yeah, that’s too much.

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  19. de stijl says:

    @Tyrell:

    I have certainly respected the news networks over the years.

    No. You haven’t.

    I remember when you were waxing nostalgic about the MacNeil/Lehrer report as if you were a regular watcher when one of them had been dead for eight years and the other hadn’t been on air for four years.

    You routinely lie about your media habits.

    You were blithely pitching Jade Hem 15 conspiracy theories back when that was a thing. You know, when Obama was going to use the US Army to invade Texas and declare martial law for some reason by using abandoned Walmarts as FOBs or somesuch.

    PS Gwen Ifill died two years ago. Please don’t claim you saw her yesterday on your TeeVee box.

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  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell: I haven’t watched TV news in decades. Come to think of it, I haven’t watched TV in decades. Witch is not to say I haven’t watched a TV news segment on the internet from time to time, just saying it’s really rare. And when I do it’s usually Shep Smith tearing Sean Hannity a new one because it’s comedy gold to watch the self cannibalization of FOX.

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  21. Resistance Ron says:

    @Michael Reynolds: You’d look a lot smarter if you were able to acknowledge the actions Obama actually took against the free press, and were able to distinguish between those and Trump merely engaging with the press.

    But you insultingly dismiss anything that runs counter to your narrow minded views as conspiracy theories. You really do appear to be an NPC at times.

    Are you now going to say that Obama did nothing in that list? Or are you going to excuse it all because not-Trump, and the ends justify the means?

    Please detail all the things President Trump has done to actually limit or threaten the freedom of the press. Executive orders, court cases, etc.

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  22. wr says:

    @Resistance Ron: Hi Baby J@nos,

    So did you decide you weren’t dying of some terrible disease after all, once your pathetic plea for sympathy got you nothing more than a couple of pokes about running out on the bill for your treatment?

    Or are you on your death bed, bravely fighting to annoy just one more person before you die…

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  23. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Resistance Ron:
    Moderators…it appears J-enos is back.

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  24. mattbernius says:
  25. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: I’m guessing Tyrell is 45-55 years old and lives east of the Mississippi.

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  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @mattbernius:
    Thanks.
    After reading Baby J-enos’ comment I went back and took a look at what really happened.
    What a surprise…his comment was as misleading as possible.
    Some things never change.

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  27. mattbernius says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    His comments/interpretation were as partisan as possible.

    Still, the reality remains that Obama’s administration aggressively pursued leakers and definitely prosecuted a lot of journalists. We can get into debates about the differences in what was being leaked, or that some of those prosecutions began under GWB, but that doesn’t change the overall facts.

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  28. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @mattbernius:

    Obama’s administration aggressively pursued leakers

    The use of this by baby J-enos in such a partisan manner is particularly ironic given that the administration of his Dear Leader leaks like the Titanic.

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  29. Kylopod says:

    @mattbernius: Do you have mod privileges that stops your posts from getting thrown into mod hell due to multiple links? Whenever I try to put more than one link into a post it gets automatically sent to mod hell, and it sometimes does anyway just because of a single link.

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  30. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    Three is the trigger.

    And linking to previous comments like this counts:

    @Kylopod:

    That counts as one link.

    So if you (properly) cite a previous comment and then provide two links, you will be put into the moderation queue.

    If you have two links, use plain-text @Kylopod instead of clicking on the reply icon and use a block-quoted text to provide the context.

    Remember – three is the key.

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  31. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Look at my comment directly above. It looks like it has no links, but it actually has two links.

    Both @Kylopods count.

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  32. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I misspelled Jade Helm.

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  33. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Three is the trigger.

    I inadvertently lied.

    Three is the max. Four will put you in the queue.

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  34. Kathy says:

    Will wonders never cease?

    Fox News, the state media Fox News, filed an amicus brief on behalf of CNN on this matter.

    ReplyReply
  35. Kylopod says:

    Okay, I’m going to test whether I can put in two links without having my post sent to mod hell. If you don’t see a post of mine in the next few minutes containing two links, you’ll know it didn’t work.

    ReplyReply
  36. Kylopod says:

    First link, “Silent Night” by Chewbacca:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd79mpzBnJ4

    Second link, a Stephen King tweet from earlier this year:

    https://twitter.com/stephenking/status/1046464988951580672?lang=en

    ReplyReply
  37. Kylopod says:

    Wow, it worked! I’ll do a three-link test later.

    ReplyReply
  38. de stijl says:

    If I am correct, three links will always pass muster, but four will always put you in the mod queue.

    ReplyReply
  39. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl: I’ve had posts thrown out over two links several times, and occasionally over just one link. If it’s not like that anymore, the change must have been recent.

    ReplyReply
  40. de stijl says:

    You just linked to Chewbacca ayeahaggh-ing “Silent Night”

    You are a very disturbed person.

    Here is John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols) “doing” hip-hop. Time Zone (Africa Bambaata + John Lydon. It sounds like a white-privilege disaster, but it so works.
    https://youtu.be/B5S-q1gRxvw

    (BTW, I doubt Mr. Lydon and Mr. Bambaata ever met in person and their bits were obviously filmed in different time zones.)

    The only white people that liked early hip-hop / rap were punks. Even (white) people I liked made atrociously racist comments about rap and hip-hop in the mid 80s.

    Hypercompetent wordplay and rhythm manipulation was dismissed as lazy and not really a song or music.

    Nowadays, “white rock” is a total niche genre. What looked like niche back then became ascendant and pop and what was all-powerful is now a footnote.

    ReplyReply
  41. One American says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I see you are still a hateful nut job. Sad….Happy Holidays!

    ReplyReply
  42. de stijl says:

    @One American:

    “Sad”

    Do you realize that you’re echoing Trump twitter-speak with that construct?

    Back to actual, productive intercourse. Here’s John Lydon in PiL doing Rise
    https://youtu.be/jPj-8_wOZcA

    Anger is an energy

    ReplyReply
  43. de stijl says:

    Who could have predicted that Pop + EDM could be punker than any of us?

    This was mainstream pop and it is punk as fuck. This intense.

    Sia + David Guetta Titanium
    https://youtu.be/JRfuAukYTKg

    lil dude looks like Jon Heder, but that’s not his fault.

    ReplyReply
  44. de stijl says:

    The world we predict never actually happens, but what actually does happen is astonishing and true.

    Something like Titanium could not not have existed back when in the before time. Like inconceivable.

    I went from thinking that nothing could be more intense than super niche Husker Du way back when, to seeing hyperfast BPM enter the mainstream via EDM with a Brit pop singer.

    I’m totally cool with that. In fact, I think it’s fucking awesome.

    What we wanted, happened, just not how we foresaw it. Which is even kinda dopier.

    ReplyReply
  45. Tyrell says:

    @MarkedMan: You are slightly warm. I supported and helped in Hubert Humphrey’s campaign. I remember the segregated water fountains and bathrooms.

    ReplyReply

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