The mainstream media has shown a double standard in how it has rallied behind CNN’s Jim Acosta and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, even though both men were accused of physically brushing off young women in the workplace.
CNN is suing to get Acosta his press pass back to the White House, with CNN reporting outlets like the Associated Press, Fox News, NBC News, Gannett, Politico, USA Today and the New York Times issuing statements of support to CNN. However, supporters of the president argue that case law clearly shows that the White House can ban disruptive, unprofessional individuals who impede the orderly process of a press conference.
This rallying around Acosta contrasts sharply with how the national media treated Lewandowski, including 16 major conservative women in media.
In March 2016, former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields accused Lewandowski of grabbing her arm during a campaign event, yet authorities in April declined to formally prosecute Lewandowski on a charge of simple battery. Lewandowski’s lawyer submitted a draft of a short apology from Lewandowski, according to Palm Beach County state attorney David Aronberg, and Palm Beach County assistant prosecutor Adrienne Ellis told reporters that the charges against Lewandowski, according to New York Magazine “were undermined by the fact that, in the moments before the infamous arm-grab, Fields had entered a “protective bubble” maintained by Secret Service agents, and made incidental contact with the candidate himself. (The prosecutors said that Trump had personally contacted them to inform them of Fields’s own act of unwanted touching, and urged them to “do the right thing.”).”
Lewandowski subsequently was removed as campaign manager in 2016. CNN recognized the media bias against Lewandowski when they hired him as a CNN contributor following the Fields incident, with CNN president Jeff Zucker saying that criticism of hiring Lewandowski was because of “inherent media bias.”
“What he’s there to be is to provide his point of view and his insight into Trump and the Trump phenomenon. Nobody objects to the fact that many of our Democratic analysts have nary a negative word for Hillary Clinton, and so I do think there’s an inherent media bias when people attack on that side and don’t attack on the Democratic side.
“I know that there’s a lot of people who don’t like Corey Lewandowski or the other Trump surrogates that we have on staff. I think a lot of that is because they don’t like the idea of the Trump candidacy and that’s just a projection of ‘How could you have those people on the set?’ Well, we have them on the set because somebody’s got to represent 14 million people [in the GOP primary] who voted for the guy. I understand that there are people who might not like that, who might not like those people who are supporting him, but that’s what happened.
Yet the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple said that “the criticisms against the CNN-Lewandowski partnership rest not on bias, but on facts.”