An NPR journalist gave Trump-era CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta a run for his money on Tuesday with a rather navel-gazing tweet about a bulletproof vest that really missed the mark.
No pun intended.
“My bulletproof vest that I may need to be a journalist in America arrived and they sent me a Small and I had to adjust it to make it a little smaller and for a moment I was happy that I was too small for my bulletproof vest that I need to do journalism in America,” Sarah McCammon, who covers abortion and religion for NPR, wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
She wisely deleted this tweet but I would love to hear the explanation for why this NPR journalist apparently feels she needs to traverse around America wearing a bulletproof vest pic.twitter.com/3GitTQx4pc
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) May 5, 2021
While there’s a very good case to be made for the fat-phobic nature of her expressed delight at being too small for a small bulletproof vest, the majority of Twitter users mercilessly mocked her for her utterly tone-deaf complaints as Fox News reported.
On the one hand, there were conservative journalists who are vastly more familiar with being targeted by violent agitators than anyone who has ever worked the abortion or religion beats at NPR.
As someone who has actually been attacked while doing my job in the field, I don’t think I need a bulletproof vest.
It’s literally only something you need in an actual war zone. Or maybe a “mostly peaceful” protest. https://t.co/9jyR86DZcD
— Chris Tomlinson (@TomlinsonCJ) May 4, 2021
Now, it’s nothing new for journalists to find a need for bulletproof vests — war correspondents have risked their lives for decades to cover conflict overseas and there are a lot of dangerous beats within our borders too.
Over the last year, we have certainly seen an uptick in local correspondents reporting from backgrounds that are chillingly similar to warzones — but of course, they usually tell us the flaming rubble in the shot behind them is merely the remnants of a “fiery but mostly peaceful protest.”
Centrist and conservative reporters like Andy Ngo, Julio Rosas or Lawrence Jones have probably grown pretty familiar with bulletproof vests as they cover antifa insurgencies, anti-police riots and the dangerous situation at the southern border.
Of course, I can’t really see any of these guys whining on Twitter about having to wear bulletproof vests.
Although, in Jones’ case, he was actually once mocked by the likes of BuzzFeed and The Washington Post for wearing a bulletproof vest on-air while reporting from the southern border — when in reality, the Border Patrol agents he was riding with made him wear it because of all the, you know, gunfights they encounter on their beats.
Establishment media reporters began increasingly portraying themselves as the selfless heroes of the front lines of the battle to save democracy from the Orange Man and all his scary supporters in 2016, which is probably why McCammon thought it might offer a poignant commentary on the risks and sacrifices taken by her kind as they chase down the facts and fight back against fake news.
This was helped along in large part by the narrative that former President Donald Trump was basically digging the graves of every reporter who ever criticized him when he said that “fake news” was “the true enemy of the people,” an insult which only applied to anyone spinning genuine news into partisan-driven propaganda, so it was always a little odd they took it so personally.
All the same, attacks on reporters are incredibly rare, and the Orange Man has supposedly been vanquished, so Twitter was not letting it go that this self-glorifying reporter felt the need to draw attention to the fact that she was issued a bulletproof vest.
11 Journalists Killed in USA
between 1992 and 2021https://t.co/Am33r9qUHj
My bulletproof vest that I need to maintain an inflated sense of danger & my own importance https://t.co/bkxPEjUdps
— Jim Hanson 🇺🇸 (@JimHansonDC) May 4, 2021
Ordering a bulletproof vest for my podcast. Can never be too sure these days in America.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) May 4, 2021
I’m guessing this is disingenuous.
If it’s not, you don’t need a bulletproof vest, you need therapy, because you’ve been damaged by propaganda and can no longer make reasonable risk assessments because of it.
— Trent (@BaptLibertarian) May 4, 2021
I sincerely would like to know: Where in America do you need a vest to be a journalist?
I grew up in Venezuela were both my parents were journalists, so I know a little about threats to journos and honestly this tweet just seems like you’re looking for attention. https://t.co/wWtsMYv19P
— Daniel Acosta Rivas (@DanAcostaR) May 4, 2021
It’s rather ironic that the best case to be made for journalists needing bulletproof vests in America is the very same reason that those on the right often criticize the spin the establishment media complex puts on our all-too-common violent, destructive, “mostly peaceful” riots or the Mexican drug cartels’ violent control of the border region.
It’s no wonder we can no longer rely on these reporters to bring us the honest truth with no spin — they can’t even notice this concerning trend without finding a way to put themselves at the center of the story instead of the brutal truth about the state of our country.
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