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CNN's Jim Acosta reports ahead of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's daily press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House January 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

330,000+ Sign Petition Calling on White House Press Corps to 'Stand Up and Fight Back' After Acosta Blacklisted

"The rest of the White House Press Corps will line up in solidarity—and either refuse to participate in White House press events or only ask questions on behalf of the banned reporter/outlet until the ban is lifted."

Jon Queally

An online petition is surging towards its goal of 350,000 signatures on Thursday as it called on members of the White House Press Association to stand in solidarity against the Trump adminstration's decision to strip credentials from CNN report Jim Acosta.

"In response to a man who treats his Presidency as if it's a series of a particularly bizarre reality-TV show, the entire White House press corps should walk out." —British journalist Jane MerrickPosted on MoveOn.org's platform, but coordinated by the watchdog group Media Matters for America, the petition reads:

If Trump blacklists or bans one of you, the rest of you need to stand up. Instead of ignoring Trump's bad behavior and going about your business, close ranks and stand up for journalism. Don't keep talking about what Trump wants to talk about. Stand up and fight back. Amplify your colleague's inquiry or refuse to engage until he removes that person/outlet from the blacklist.

As of this writing, 333,046 had signed the petition and the number was steadily increasing.

"The White House Press Correspondents Association exists to advance the interests of and protective the White House Press Corps and right now, they freedom of the press is in jeopardy. They need to act," said Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, and author of the petition. "Reporters need to make it a matter of policy that if one of their members if blacklisted, that the rest of the White House Press Corps will line up in solidarity—and either refuse to participate in White House press events or only ask questions on behalf of the banned reporter/outlet until the ban is lifted."

According to British political journalist Jane Merrick, in an op-ed posted to CNN on Thursday:

Trump's decision to revoke Acosta's pass to the White House grounds is an outrageous ramping up of his campaign against a questioning, robust, and free media.

In response to a man who treats his Presidency as if it's a series of a particularly bizarre reality-TV show, the entire White House press corps should walk out. Deny him coverage. Take him off the air. Cancel his series. Leave him to rage into Twitter's echo chamber, which is all he deserves.

On Thursday morning, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was under fire for retweeting a doctored video of the incident with Acosta at Wednesday's press briefing.

In a rebuke to the Trump administration over the suspension of Acosta, PEN America on Wednesday night called the decision a "clear attack on the First Amendment."


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WHO, South Africa Urge Nations to Lift 'Naive' Omicron Travel Bans

"The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic."

Brett Wilkins ·


EU Joins Rights Group in Condemning Israel's 'Day of Destruction' of Palestinian Homes

"Demolitions are illegal under international law and significantly undermine the prospects for peace."

Brett Wilkins ·


GOP 'Silence Speaks Volumes,' Says Ilhan Omar as Boebert's Bigotry Goes Unpunished

"Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress."

Brett Wilkins ·


Africans Should Be 'Applauded, Not Punished,' Say Advocates Amid Omicron Travel Ban

"What is going on right now is inevitable," said African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance co-chair Dr. Ayoade Alakija. "It's a result of the world's failure to vaccinate in an equitable, urgent, and speedy manner."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·

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