According to the terms of agreement which Acosta and CNN signed, access to the White House Press Corps is given SUBJECT TO GOOD BEHAVIOR.
There’s actually quite a few more restrictions specified therein than that, but suffice it to say that Acosta clearly violated a number of them, on recorded video, and in front of the entire nation.
CNN certainly has grounds to sue, as it’s missing out on news coverage of White House press meetings, thereby incurring a financial loss. Financial injury/damage/loss are always grounds to file a lawsuit.
Proving whether or not those losses are fundamentally the result of the White House’s response or Acosta’s violation of the terms of agreement will be a matter for the courts to decide.
Here’s a FAR EASIER solution than going to court:
Formally and publicly ask CNN to replace Acosta with another qualified reporter, and when that reporter comes on board, read them the riot act i.e.
the entire content of the agreement in the presence of three White House attorneys-witnesses while recording it on video. Of course, the WH will have to record and witness all future new WH Press Corps reporters, although after the next three or four, they can lower the burden to just one attorney-witness and a video recording as the agreement is read aloud (play a recording?) to the next candidate reporter.
By offering Acosta’s seat up to any other reporter, it’s no longer about CNN. It’s just about Acosta.
Not only does this pull the rug out from beneath CNN’s lawsuit, making it solely about Acosta, and not CNN, but it also protects against any future
lawsuits by creating both crystal clear and court-admissible instructions on what members of the White House Press Corps can and cannot do. The instructions cannot limit the questions that are asked. They absolutely can require reporters to both cease and desist all further questioning and sit down when the President turns to another reporter.
While you’re at it, I noticed several reporters shouting out their questions before being called up by the President. I know that’s a tradition. It makes the event feel more alive, electrifies the air. Sometimes, however, perhaps often, the White House should employ random selection. There should be a clause in the text of the agreement that clearly prohibits shouting out, “Mr. President!” Instead, on those more solemn days, hand reporters a random number as they walk through the door. Take their questions in order. If CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, or others don’t get to ask a question for six weeks until their luck turns, so be it. That might even be a good thing for the quality of the questions being asked of our President. Currently, that quality, particularly from jerks like Acosta, is rather abysmal.