Jim Acosta. Narcissistic Nitwit.
Do me a favor, please. All of you who detest the president, try not to launch into wild whataboutism before reading this post in its entirety. And please put aside your loathing of Donald Trump long enough to understand that I AM NOT WRITING ABOUT HIM today.
Instead I’m commenting on the atrocious behavior this week of a member of the media at a televised presidential press conference. And no, the fact that our president frequently behaves badly is no excuse for a reporter to act the same way.
As someone who spent her entire adult life as a journalist, diligently reporting the news and writing commentary, I hold members of my profession to a far higher standard than any politician.
Which brings us, of course, to CNN’s Jim Acosta. A journalistic embarrassment.
On Wednesday he violated so many standards of decency that it’s hard to know where to start.
Get a load of his opening salvo:
“Thank you, Mr. President,” he began when called upon by President Trump. “I wanted to challenge you on one of the statements you made in the tail end of the campaign in the midterms.”
Someone needs to remind this CNN pretty boy that the job of a reporter is to ask questions and report the news. Period.
You don’t challenge the President of the United States at a press conference. In fact, you don’t challenge anyone you’re interviewing. You ask them tough questions, you report their answers. You can politely ask them about conflicting statements, but you never, ever argue with them.
Acosta was objecting to Trump’s characterization of the immigrant caravan making its way toward our southern border as an “invasion.”
Again, not your job to object, Acosta.
It’s fine to report that Trump characterized the caravan that way and to find someone who disagrees and gives an opposing view, but you don’t bicker with the president, the governor, the mayor or the dog catcher.
After delivering a windy sermon on immigration, Acosta attempted to ask another question. The president told him his turn was over. That’s common, by the way. In a room with 50 or so reporters, you don’t let one hog the mic.
But Acosta continued bloviating like a well-dressed madman.
Look, when you’re at a presidential press conference you stand when called on and sit down when you’re finished.
If the president tells you to take a seat, you take one.
Acosta’s disrespect for the president, the office, the setting and his fellow reporters was breathtaking.
Next he refused to surrender the microphone when an intern came to retrieve it. In fact, he brushed her away.
No, Acosta didn’t assault her, as some have said. But he did treat her disrespectfully. She was just doing her job and the young woman looked stricken.
By creating a spectacle at the presser, Jim Acosta became the story. That should never happen.
As a result, a day after the GOP lost control of the House, a day when the president would fire the attorney general and there were major news events everywhere "Jim Acosta of CNN" was - for a while - the top story.
A few hours later the White House yanked his credentials.
They can do that. They shouldn’t have, however, because it instantly made Acosta a martyr. In his own mind, anyway.
Contrary to what some hysterical members of the media are saying, this wasn’t an attempt to silence the press. It was a reprimand of one churlish, rude reporter who routinely badgers the president and his press secretary and hijacks almost every press availability.
When the press corps is invited into the White House to ask questions of the President of the United States they should behave themselves. Yes, even if the president doesn’t do the same.
Reporters should remember that they’re professionals, not professional wrestlers.
And if Jim Acosta thinks his look-at-me antics endeared him to anyone other than the other Trump haters in the press, he is wrong. I suspect most ordinary, decent people look at him now and see a brat. An out-of-control narcissist.
In fact, Acosta should quit journalism and go into politics. A perfect fit for this nitwit.