The liberal media still don’t seem to understand that their over the top hostile coverage of President Trump is working to his benefit. Instead of reflecting how they can restore public trust, which remains at record lows, they double down on their condescension for Middle America and continue to reveal a systemic bias against the president.
Jim Acosta’s behavior and reporting as a White House correspondent for CNN is a perfect example.
Take his response to being heckled at a Trump rally in Tampa on Tuesday. Rather than ignore the Trump supporters chanting “CNN sucks!” and hurling insults his way — wrong as they may be to do so — Acosta clutched his pearls. Instead of reporting on the rally, he made the story about himself, tweeting dramatically about the “sad scene” he had faced.
“I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt,” Acosta tweeted. “We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy.”
If he thinks his treatment at the Trump rally was wrong, he should try being a conservative speaker visiting a college campus. There has literally been riots simply because a conservative was invited to speak, a danger far more serious than the “whipped up” crowd Acosta was worried about at the Tampa rally.
Secondly, his warning that the “hostility” towards the press will “result in somebody hurt” rings hollow when Trump officials are the ones being confronted by angry people in restaurants, book stores, movie theaters, and on street corners. And especially when it was Republican lawmakers who were targeted in an assassination attempt last year, not the press or Democrats. Yet Acosta doesn’t seem concerned that someone on the left could get carried away and hurt someone on the right.
Here’s another gem from Acosta that night: “One of the surprising things I heard tonight in Tampa is Trump supporters saying I should be on their team,” Acosta said. “Anybody remember when we were all on the same team? I do.”
Give me a break, Jim. Sure, we should all be on the “same team” as Americans, but partisanship has prevented that from happening. The right offered no praise or credit for Obama when it was warranted, and now the same is happening to Trump. And that extends to the press.
Journalists should be on the same team as the truth. Instead, many cherry-pick facts to push their own narratives and personal interest, particularly on television and on social media. The biggest problem with Acosta is that he thinks he can be a reporter by day and a pundit by night, all while claiming to be objective. This attitude is a systemic problem in the press, and especially at CNN.
It’s fair to criticize Fox News for their coverage of the president, but they at least make a clearer distinction between their news programs, anchored by folks like Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, Martha MacCallum, and Shannon Bream, and their opinion shows starring Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson. MSNBC is at least sort of transparent with their leftward slant to the point that if you’re on their payroll, you’re either a liberal or a #NeverTrump conservative.
What CNN does, though, is present itself as an unbiased network that simply reports the facts. But their shows and news anchors exhibit hostility towards the Trump administration all day. Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, Jake Tapper, and Don Lemon will tell you they objectively report on this presidency while they consistently attack, mock, and shame Trump, Republican lawmakers, and their voters.
But Acosta separates himself from the rest of his colleagues. Because he is strictly a so-called “reporter,” his performance is constrained to emotionally-charged exchanges with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and his judgment-fueled reporting from the White House lawn, which leads viewers to believe that what he’s doing is serious journalism. It isn’t. He is as self-serving and attention-seeking as any opinion host, but because he believes himself to be an objective reporter, his smug demeanor far outstrips them.
He puts on a show at every press briefing. He doesn’t simply ask questions, he debates the White House, grandstands, and injects virtue signaling in his reporting, turning what’s supposed to be journalism into outright activism.
Just look at his latest brawl with Sanders, when he said that the press “deserves” not to be called the “enemy of the people.” She refused to meet Acosta’s demand as she was literally doing her job speaking on behalf of the president. He tweeted shortly after that it was “shameful.”
Acosta apparently believes that this White House should play nice in their war of words, while he and his colleagues in the media should be exempt from criticism by the White House after they call Trump a racist, sexist xenophobe, question his ability to serve, and make constant ridiculous comparisons to Hitler and Stalin.
If you don’t think Acosta isn’t an activist, just listen to what he told Brooke Baldwin after that briefing.
Maybe we should make some bumper stickers, make some buttons, you know, maybe we should go out on Pennsylvania Ave like those folks who chant ‘CNN sucks’ and ‘fake news,’ maybe we should got out — all journalists, should go out on Pennsylvania Ave and chant ‘We’re not the enemy of the people.’ Because I’m tired of this! … It is not right, it is not fair, it is not just, it is un-American to come out here and call the press the enemy of the people.
If you’re so “tired” of this Jim, then retire your position as a reporter and organize that protest on Pennsylvania Ave you desperately desire. And instead of lecturing Trump supporters and this administration about how mean they are to them, Acosta and the rest of the media should reevaluate their own journalistic practices.