As of yesterday, the long, national nightmare known as “Jim Acosta is a victim” reached a sort-of conclusion.
After a court ruling, the White House reinstated, albeit temporarily, Acosta’s press pass and the grandstanding, obnoxious, scene-stealing CNN reporter is now back in his spot at press conferences.
Frankly, it was the right move. As I wrote previously, the Trump administration had every reason to allow Acosta back into the exclusive fold. The longer he was banned, the more he looked like one being victimized. Also, the president has the upper hand in his press conference appearances. It would only serve him well to allow Acosta back in the room.
Upon the announcement that Acosta’s pass was reinstated, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued the following statement:
“Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House,” Sanders said in the statement. “In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass. We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. There must be decorum at the White House.”
There must be decorum at the White House!
I could not agree more with that last sentence. Like him or not, President Trump is the president of the United States. Whether you voted for him or not, he is our president. The highest office in the land deserves to be treated with respect. The need for members of the press pool to exhibit proper, decent behavior is a must.
But this requirement goes both ways.
This decorous behavior that is expected of those who visit the White House must also come from those who inhabit the same space as members of the current administration. This includes the president, Donald J. Trump. It’s not enough that he asks reporters to behave in a proper manner. He must act appropriate, too.
Many in the MAGA set comment on how impolite Acosta is in his dealings with the leader of our nation, but never ask the actual man who embodies that role to reevaluate his own attitudes and actions. For that reason, the request for decorum falls rather clumsily and flat upon those who view the hypocrisy that is routinely on display.
In his social media statements, edicts, and interviews, President Trump often insults, belittles, accuses, and behaves in other juvenile and hysterical ways. This has been a staple of his entire time in office and it is unacceptable.
Some view his demeanor with approval and conclude “he’s a fighter!” In reality, this behavior only reveals a man who lacks his own respect for the position granted to him by the voters of this great nation. That truth should never be applauded.
Now, things will go back to usual at the White House. Hopefully, Jim Acosta will improve as he interacts with Sanders and Trump during press briefings. I hope that President Trump would follow his own press secretary’s advice, agree that there must be decorum at the White House, and clean up his act, too.
Unfortunately, for a man who believes everyone else should behave better than him, that seems to be asking a lot.