JIM ACOSTA PREVAILS IN CREDENTIAL BATTLE WITH THE WHITE HOUSE
NEW YORK (AP) – On the one hand, the White House has surrendered in its battle to keep CNN’s Jim Acosta away from the West Wing by canceling his press pass. But on the other hand, the Trump administration’s back-down comes with a warning that it could ratchet up the controversy in the future. As a result of the decision to reinstate Acosta’s “hard pass,” CNN says it will drop its lawsuit against the White House. As far as the threat to pull credentials in the future, the White House has issued a list of guidelines it says will maintain a level of decorum at press briefings and presidential news conferences. The rules say reporters would be permitted one question each – and allowed follow-ups only at the discretion of the president.
JIM ACOSTA TWEETS TO PUBLIC ABOUT “ENEMIES” CLAIM
WASHINGTON (AP) – CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta has taken to Twitter to defend himself and his colleagues against claims by President Trump that they are the “enemy of the people.” In his tweet yesterday, he said he and fellow journalists “are not the enemy of the people” – and said “it is wrong the call your fellow Americans the enemy.” He ended his message with the statement “We are all Americans.” Acosta has had his press credential to cover the White House returned – after a rocky stretch where his “hard pass” was suspended, regained via a court order – then reinstated permanently – even as the White House threatened to oust him again if he misbehaves in its view.
WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER DOING AWAY WITH COMEDIANS
WASHINGTON (AP) – It’s no joke. Literally. The White House Correspondents’ Association says it is breaking with its tradition to feature a comedian as part of its annual dinner. Instead of a jokester, the group says it has invited Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow to speak at next year’s dinner. Last year’s annual event sparked controversy when comedian Michelle Wolf cracked jokes about White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She also leveled comedic broadsides at President Trump, his daughter Ivanka and counselor Kellyanne Conway. Trump himself has skipped the dinner the past two years. And the White House hasn’t said whether he will attend this time around.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN – PROSECUTORS
NEW YORK (AP) – Prosecutors in New York are pushing back against claims by Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys to have the criminal case against him tossed out. In new court filings, the Manhattan district attorney’s office says there is “ample evidence” to proceed with the sexual assault charges lodged against the former Hollywood big shot. Attorneys for Weinstein have claimed the lead detective in the case has been coaching witnesses. But the DA’s office says there is “no possibility” that any efforts by the detective affected the grand jury that indicted Weinstein.
PAMELA ANDERSON – AUSTRALIA
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Pamela Anderson and Australia’s prime minister are engaging in a war of words. It started when the former “Baywatch” star appeared in an interview in which urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to bring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Australia. Morrison rejected the request. But he added that he knew “plenty of mates” who’ve asked to be his special envoy to – as he put it – “sort out the issue” with Anderson. A government official calls it a “lighthearted” remark. But Anderson said Morrison made – in her words – “smutty, unnecessary comments about a woman voicing her political opinion.”
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS – MEMOIRS
NEW YORK (AP) – You can’t accuse Sen. Kamala Harris of only catering to those of voting age with her upcoming books. Her memoir is coming out Jan. 8. But the senator is also releasing a picture book memoir, titled “Superheroes Are Everywhere.” Penguin Press is publishing the adult memoir, while Penguin Young Readers will churn out the one for the younger set. The name of the adult edition is “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey.” Harris is a California Democrat who’s been widely discussed as a possible 2020 presidential contender. Usually, the first step in the grooming process for a possible White House run – is for the would-be candidate to publish a memoir.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2