Folks in the media have their shorts in a wad because the White House suspended the press pass for Showboat Jim Acosta of CNN, who seems to think he’s the only reporter in the room. He hogs the camera, and recently held onto the White House microphone like Alec Baldwin holds onto a parking place, even to the point of pushing away a young female White House intern who was simply trying to give the microphone to another reporter since Acosta had not only asked more questions than he was allowed, but kept talking and interrupting the President. Watch: (play SOT)
CNN, which is now the Cry-baby News Network, went full drama and screamed that the 1st amendment was being threatened…in fact, democracy itself was at risk because one incredibly rude and selfish reporter at CNN was finally being held accountable for irresponsible and disrespectful behavior.
Let’s get something straight. The 1st amendment is not threatened because one reporter loses press credentials for being a total jerk and violating every norm of journalistic integrity. His job is to report the story instead of trying to become the story as Showboat Jim does. Most of us learned in kindergarten that you raise your hand and speak when called on, but when the teacher is finished answering the question, you sit down.
The 1st amendment protects the press from the government telling them what they can or can’t say. No one has threatened Acosta or his ever declining and discredited network from saying what they say. If so, they wouldn’t be allowed to say so much of their crazy stuff. The government hasn’t censored CNN. The public pretty much is by tuning them out in record numbers, but they can still say what they want, no matter how nutty or biased it is.
The President isn’t required by law to have ANY press events. Even his critics concede that he’s been more accessible than any other President. In the news conference last week, he took 68 questions from 35 different reporters for over an hour and half. How can the press say with a straight face they don’t have access? But while the press is free to ask any question they want, they are NOT free to demand the answer they want. They are talking to the elected President of the United States. If he gives an answer, it may not be what they hoped he would say, but he isn’t required to satisfy their hopes for a mis-statement or to agree with them. In fact, CNN’s Acosta didn’t even ask a question—he said, “Mr. President, I challenge you…” Sorry Jumping Jim, but if you want to actually challenge the President, then put you name on the ballot, run for President, and if you make it to the debate stage, then “challenge” him all you want. But stop pretending to be a journalist who’s defending the freedom of the press and our democracy. Guys like Jim Acosta and his network aren’t journalists—they are political hitmen; advocates for a very pointed political side. There are dozens of people in that room. They all want to ask questions. Most don’t get called on. If they do, they respectfully ask one question and maybe a relevant follow-up, but don’t grab the microphone away from the staff. When he touched the young lady just trying to do her job by getting the microphone away from him before he swallowed it, he crossed several lines and the WH did the right thing by putting him in time out--just like one has to do with those who are or who act like 5 year olds. CNN can still send reporters to the White House and they do. For them to pretend their network is being barred is as Fake News as some of the other stories they run. Here’s an inconvenient truth: Freedom of the press isn’t threatened because President Trump calls their hand when they want to debate him rather than report. It IS threatened when the press stops gathering hard facts and reporting them and takes a side and tries to persuade the audience to take their view. And that’s why so many Americans don’t trust the media anymore. And for Jim Acosta, I think he needs to stay in time out for a while.
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