What does Trump know about respect

US President threatens journalists : Trump calls for "respect" for the White House

The dispute over CNN reporter Jim Acosta and the withdrawal of his access to the White House turns into an affair over presidential spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and has sparked a debate about the limits of government propaganda in a democracy. The White House Correspondents Association accuses her of distributing a manipulated video to corroborate the allegation against Acosta that he physically fought against a press officer who was supposed to take the microphone away from him.

Donald Trump gave Acosta the floor at the press conference on the election result on Wednesday, but withdrew it after an exchange. The employee then went to Acosta. At first he held the microphone and continued talking. There was physical contact.

On the video that Sanders spread on Twitter, the hand movement of the gesticulating Acosta was accelerated, video experts analyze. The brief physical contact with the employee does not seem like an unintentional touch, but like the woman's arm being thrown away. In addition, the manipulated video did not contain a soundtrack, so that Acosta's apology “Pardon me, ma’am” could not be heard.

The White House suspended Acosta's access pass after the press conference. Sanders justified this with the fact that Acosta "laid hand on a young woman".

The reactions in the USA were divided. The media to the left of the center see the punishment of Acosta as an interference with the freedom of the press. Middle-right media are accusing Acosta of making it a method of engaging the president in discussions rather than asking him questions. He does not act like a journalist, but like an opponent of Trump.

Now, however, the White House is being accused of not having falsified a manipulated video itself, but of having distributed it, although the source was questionable. Whitney Shefte, chairman of the photojournalists in the White House, says: "Whoever manipulates images manipulates the truth." That is "misleading, dangerous and unethical", especially "if someone does it on behalf of the highest office of the state". Melissa Chan from the “New York Times”, who currently lives in Berlin as a Bosch Fellow, feels reminded of China. There, the government withdrew her accreditation for similar reasons.

At another meeting with journalists on Friday, Trump threatened that even more of them could have their accreditation withdrawn: "It could also be others," he said. He continued his personal attacks on individual media representatives on this occasion. He accused journalist Abby Phillip, who also works for CNN, for asking a "stupid question". "You ask a lot of stupid questions," he said.

Phillip had asked if the President wanted to slow down the investigation into possible illegal contacts of the Trump team to Moscow during the 2016 election campaign with the help of his interim successor Matthew Whitaker after the expulsion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

During his brief press meeting on Friday, Trump also insulted radio reporter April Ryan as a "loser" and "very nasty". He called on journalists to treat the White House with "respect", saying that it was a "very sacred place".

Media is often accused of creating special effects by selecting and trimming photos. Governments in democracies rarely experience this. One example was the solidarity march in Paris after the terrorist attack on the magazine “Charlie Hebdo” in 2015. The photo, which allegedly showed several heads of government at the head of a large demonstration, was taken in a side street. However, it did not convey false news because hundreds of thousands were actually marching.

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