Ever since Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination, and certainly since taking his position in the White House as president, the predominantly liberal mainstream media has covered Trump and his campaign-turned-administration in a decidedly antagonistic manner.
Chief among the antagonists are CNN and the network’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who seems to relish the publicity from his battles with Trump or members of the administration, though he often also whines and complains when he takes a hit or two in the skirmishes he starts.
Case in point is the whiny tweet Acosta issued Thursday afternoon following the daily briefing in which he complained that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders refused to walk back repeated remarks from the president that have labeled the media outlets and reporters who perpetuate “fake news” as the “enemies of the people.”
Acosta tweeted, “I walked out of the end of that briefing because I am totally saddened by what just happened. Sarah Sanders was repeatedly given a chance to say the press is not the enemy and she wouldn’t do it. Shameful.”
I walked out of the end of that briefing because I am totally saddened by what just happened. Sarah Sanders was repeatedly given a chance to say the press is not the enemy and she wouldn't do it. Shameful.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 2, 2018
The Hill reported that Acosta and Sanders had engaged in an “intense” exchange, and that “Acosta had left the briefing before it ended, tweeting that he was ‘saddened'” by the confrontation.
Acosta can whine and complain and walk out of daily briefings all he wants, but the fact remains that he and his network, by virtue of their continued antagonistic behavior, have done nothing to address the situation or prove to either Trump or the American people that they are not, in fact, an “enemy” of this administration and the tens of millions who support it.
The fact Sarah Sanders’ responses made him leave the briefing — he “walked out” because Sanders didn’t say exactly what he wanted her to say — only raises the question, why does he continue to cover an administration he so obviously hates … a point duly made by Republican political consultant and focus group guru Frank Luntz.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) August 2, 2018
Luntz tweeted, “Why continue working the
@WhiteHouse beat if you’re going to walk out of press briefings because you didn’t like the answer to a question?”
That same question, or at least a similar version of it, needed to be asked Tuesday after Acosta whined and complained about the harsh treatment he received from Trump supporters at a rally in Tampa, Florida.
Acosta was harangued by the crowd with loud chants of “CNN sucks!” and “fake news!” — among other choice words and gestures — while he was attempting to deliver a live report ahead of the rally for CNN host Wolf Blitzer’s program.
But the treatment Acosta received from Trump supporters at the rally didn’t occur in some sort of vacuum. It was in response to the plethora of exceptionally biased and opinionated reports Acosta has delivered against Trump and the administration over the past year and a half … not the sort of behavior one expects from a purportedly unbiased and professional journalist reporting nothing but facts.
Indeed, Acosta’s disrespectful behavior in the past toward Trump, Sanders and others associated with or supportive of the president has led us to this point, and despite his whines and complaints, Acosta has nobody to blame but himself for falling into the category of “enemy of the people.”
Here’s a tip: If you don’t want to be referred to as an “enemy of the people,” don’t act like one by smearing a duly elected president and his legion of supporters as being bigoted, cheating, misogynistic, Nazi, racist xenophobes, among all the other disparaging -ists and -isms Acosta and his ilk like to toss around carelessly.
If the media at large were to adjust their tone and begin to dial back the antagonism and cover the White House in a more fair and objective manner, this ongoing feud between the president and the media outlets aligned against him would soon fade away.
However, if they insist on continuing to cover each and every thing said or done by the president and his people in an incessantly negative manner, no matter what, then the unfortunate label will stick and no amount of whining or complaining at the blowback it brings will change that. The ball is in your court, media.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.