You probably heard about CNN’s Jim Acosta leaving the White House Press briefing in a snit because the Press Secretary (full disclosure: my daughter Sarah) refused his repeated demands to deny that the media are the “enemy of the people” (President Trump has pointed out that he was talking about the “fake news,” not the entire news media).
I don’t know what he thinks the job of Press Secretary entails, but just for his edification, it doesn’t mean you stand in front of reporters giving your own opinions, or contradicting the President, or “explaining” what he “really meant” when he’s not told you that he meant anything other than what he said. It’s not her job to interpret what the President thinks based on her own preconceived notions or to substitute her personal opinions for the facts she’s supposed to be relaying to the American people. That seems to be what Jim Acosta thinks his job is.
I think her answer was so perfect (it must’ve been if it got Jim Acosta to leave the room) that it deserves to be read word for word, so please click the link and do so. I’ll wait here until you’re done reading (and, I assume, cheering.)
I believe my daughter put it so well, I don’t need to add a thing. So instead of discussing this any further, let’s turn to another part of the newspaper, my favorite non-political section, the advice columns, where I spotted this very intriguing letter…
Dear Miss Mannerly,
I hold a very important career position – frankly, I believe the most important position in the world – yet I am having trouble getting the people I work around to show me the deference I expect. Worse, my workplace is in the public eye, which makes these sleights all the more embarrassing and unacceptable.
My chief problem is the woman who runs the daily meetings. She always tries to keep the focus on what her boss thinks is important that day, instead of things I know to be more important, such as what a childish egomaniac her boss is. Some of my colleagues (not all, thankfully) let her attempts to speak and answer questions on the topic at hand go unchallenged. When the others refuse to insist that she change the subject to what she should be addressing, it always falls to me to “cut to the chase” and start shouting questions on the unrelated topic and telling her how to do her job. Often, she and the others ignore me, or ruder yet, try to talk over me, which forces me to shout even louder and repeat the same question multiple times. Incredibly, my attempts to help her in this way seem to make her even less patient and more dismissive of me.
Despite my best efforts to refocus the meetings in the correct direction, and to be a shining example of our sacred First Amendment rights, I receive no gratitude. Instead, I have actually been the target of criticism, even name-calling (“unprofessional,”“crybaby,” “jerk,” etc.) Some have actually accused me of being the one who has lowered the tone of the meetings, can you imagine? Because these meetings are widely seen by the public, I have been subjected to outrageous insults from the rabble, such as cruel insinuations that I and the organization I represent “suck.” There has even been talk of barring me from future meetings.
My question: how can I make these deplorable people I have to work around every day show me the level of respect that I deserve?
Outraged in DC
Dear Gentle Reader:
It is Miss Mannerly’s impression that they already do.