CNN reporter and White House press briefing gadfly Jim Acosta has had a great deal to say in the past several days about his (not unfounded) concerns that the political rhetoric in this country has ramped up over the last several years, and that news media has become a particularly delicious target for those seeking to place blame.
Here he is, righteously indignant following a contentious exchange with White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders wherein she wouldn’t disavow her boss’ words that the press is the enemy of the people. Acosta says they (the press) deserve to have those statements walked back.
CNN's @Acosta on contentious WH press conference: "Honestly Brooke, 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"https://t.co/1oGZa7f57j pic.twitter.com/sqEkOE89SM
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) August 2, 2018
Sanders, in a brilliant moment of strength and self-control, reminded Mr. Acosta that his profession has done a great deal of stoking the flames of that ramped up rhetoric, and that she, to her knowledge, was the only press secretary in history requiring Secret Service protection.
Acosta was apparently undeterred (as the later interview above proves.)
Honestly Acosta, while your point is well taken that the press is a target today for a lot of vitriol, with all due respect, you brought it on yourselves. And your preferred political allies on the left side of the aisle have helped, as word broke yesterday that Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was shot last year by a deranged Bernie bro while taking softball practice, has had his life threatened again.
A man was arrested Thursday for allegedly leaving threatening voicemails for two members of Congress, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).
Sixty-three-year-old Carlos Bayon, who resides in New York, is charged with making threats across state lines.
Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the House, was shot during the GOP’s congressional baseball practice last year and sustained near-fatal injuries.
“Whip Scalise is grateful to law enforcement for their actions. He will never forget how their heroism saved his life and those of his colleagues last year,” Scalise spokeswoman Lauren Fine told The Hill in a statement. “As he has said before, there is absolutely no place in our political discourse for violent threats.”
It’s fairly bizarre that, despite these new threats coming a month after Rep. Maxine Waters said this,…
…Acosta can still muster the lack of self-awareness to play the victim and post images from a Trump rally showing how much people have taken to disliking the press.
Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy. pic.twitter.com/IhSRw5Ui3R
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 1, 2018
And, while perhaps it’s unfair to link Waters’ calls to shun Trump supporters to CNN’s general dislike for this administration, those Tampa rallygoers surely do link them. And for good reason, as Larry O’Connor points out at The Washington Times.
What Mr. Acosta doesn’t understand is that the anger and hostility and loathing he sees on the faces of Trump supporters in his video is a reflection of the same hostility they see on the faces of anchors, reporters, and analysts on his network.
Night after night for years… decades, CNN has talked down to, belittled and ignored a wide swath of American voters. The condescending contempt reached a boiling point in the 2016 election when voters defied their betters and voted for the man CNN proclaimed to be unworthy of the American presidency.
On a nightly basis throughout the election, the network pummeled the small handful of pro-Trump pundits they featured.
Show after show featured Jeffrey Lord, Kayleigh McInerney, or Scottie Nell Hughes on a political panel usually facing off against upwards to seven debaters. The panel would be comprised of pro-Hillary Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans shouting-down the lone pro-Trump pundit.
With grace and patience Lord, McInerney, and Hughes gritted their teeth and endured personal insults, patronizing ridicule, and vile epithets. All the while, viewers saw these pundits as vessels representing their interests and their views.
It was not a fair fight and CNN, represented by their hosts and anchors, seemed to love it.
Which is why no one really cares what you think you deserve, Acosta. They see things like this…
We have no equivalent to the dark carnival that is a trump rally. This is not a thing on the left. We just argue about healthcare and climate and sometimes relitigate 2016 but we are not actually out of our minds.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) August 1, 2018
and the delusion makes them really quite angry.
So, if you want to stop seeing those angry faces at rallies and want the administration to stop calling you out, start taking a little responsibility, tighten up, and get better at doing your actual job. In other words, put the bias and whining on hold and just report the news for a little bit. Everybody wins.