When I was growing up, there were very few journalists and reporters who became well-known, and most of the ones I knew tended to be local. With the advent of cable news, the Internet, and social media, that has changed. People may not be able to name the three branches of government, but they might be able to name at least one journalist, and that one would probably be Jim Acosta.
Jim Acosta is CNN’s White House correspondent, and he has made a name for himself by being the proverbial thorn in President Donald Trump’s side. Lately, he has been embroiled in a controversy following a press conference where it appears he touched a female staffer doing possibly the most dangerous job in America: getting a microphone from Jim Acosta. Because of this, Acosta’s press pass was revoked, leading to CNN suing the President and others on the basis the White House violated the First Amendment right to a free press.
Why has so much attention been brought on one man? Glad you asked, or else this week’s Leftist Lexicon was going to be a few words short.
What the Left thinks it means – a hard-nosed reporter holding the Trump White House to task and risking life and limb to get us the truth
What it really means – a loudmouth with a Napoleon complex to rival the original Napoleon
When I went to journalism school, one of the first lessons that got pounded into me was a reporter was never to become the story because it distracts people from the actual news. I can’t say if Jim Acosta learned that lesson, but judging from his actions I guess he must have been sick that day…each time it was brought up in a class.
Acosta’s contempt for the Trump Administration has seen itself play out in numerous conflicts, which has made him a Leftist superstar. To hear Leftists talk, Acosta is the only one who asks really tough questions and hounds the Administration for answers. Of course, to hear Leftists talk, socialism hasn’t ever really been tried, so we don’t know whether it will suck out loud. (Spoiler Alert: it will suck out loud.)
As a recovering Leftist and former journalism student (which, these days is pretty much one in the same), I don’t see what Acosta is doing as journalism so much as it is agitprop. Agitprop is language crafted with the intent of enflaming the public to advocate for a certain idea or position, and it can be very effective. Remember the alar scare of the 1980s? That was agitprop in its purest form. And it turned out to be complete bunk after cooler heads did their homework and figured out what alar was.
That brings us back to Mr. Acosta. I know the press is supposed to be like attack dogs when it comes to reporting on the government, but there is still a fine line between being an attack dog and being an overbearing dick. And Acosta flamenco dances on that line consistently. His behavior is, at best, childlike, which oddly enough corresponds to his Lollypop Kid stature.
Sorry, Jim. That was a low blow. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist!)
And that’s part of the problem I have with Acosta. He just doesn’t look like one. He looks like a little brother who wants to hang out with his older brothers to be one of the guys, but he winds up being more annoying than cool. I know this because I am the youngest of three boys and I did exactly what Acosta seems to be doing while pretending to be a journalist. And he’s just as annoying as I was, or still am depending on who you ask.
The larger part of the problem I have with Acosta, though, is his disrespect for his profession and, more specifically, his colleagues. Yes, I know he works for CNN, which gives him as much gravitas as, well, anyone else who works at CNN. But Acosta seems to think it gives him the moral authority to run the White House Press Corps from the floor. That, in turn, gives him the moral authority to hog the spotlight, at least in his mind. The problem is…there are plenty of other reporters in the room when Acosta goes all Journo-Spartacus on the President, and I’m sure they would like to get their questions answered. But for the grace of the man who thinks he’s the God of Journalism go they, unfortunately, and he rarely if ever gives them a chance to go.
As far as CNN’s lawsuit against President Trump and members of his Administration is concerned, for me it’s a non-starter. The First Amendment will not be in jeopardy if Jim Acosta doesn’t get this press pass back because CNN can always find someone else to take his place. Yes, Jimmy, you are expendable. If you are too much of a headache to deal with (and from accounts I’ve seen from other journalists, he is), you can and will be replaced by someone else. Just ask Keith Olbermann about that. The First Amendment doesn’t protect you from getting the hook because you’re an asshole, nor is it threatened if you are not allowed to be one during press conferences.
Yes, I know Fox News filed an amicus brief defending CNN and Acosta, but they are looking out for their business interests going forward. From 2009 to 2016, they were on the business end of a lot of Presidential harassment, so it makes sense for them to take up for their peer. But, really? Is Jim Acosta’s behavior the hill you want to die on? His presence in the room makes a mockery of the profession I learned and still respect on some level. And, news flash Fox News Kiddies, the next Democrat President will be as much, if not more, of a ballbuster than President Barack Obama was because Leftists don’t believe in the two-way street unless it benefits them directly.
And Jimbo, if you’re reading this, understand your bravado and behavior doesn’t make you the next Edward R. Murrow or Sam Donaldson. Yes, they asked tough questions and were adversarial when needed, but they understood where the line between adversarial and assholishness was. You clearly don’t, and it’s hurting your credibility, CNN’s credibility (or what’s left of it), and the credibility of the other reporters in that room. You are not a diva, but a divot.
To the Leftists out there who worship at the altar of Acosta, you need a better role model for journalists. Start with Murrow and see how a real newsman did it. Jim Acosta falls short every time.
Sorry, Jimbo. Had to throw in one last short joke, buddy.