On Wednesday, CNN's Jim Acosta unwittingly demonstrated the difference between an unbiased, truth-seeking media and a biased, hostile and advocacy media.
We need a watchdog press in this country, but its proper function is to report the news, not become the story. Acosta had displayed his obnoxiousness before, but he descended to a new low this week.
Earlier in the day, President Trump had appeared with Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue to endorse their immigration bill, called the RAISE Act. The bill was the major focus of the White House press briefing, and presidential adviser Stephen Miller outlined its key elements.
Miller's presentation was hijacked by Acosta, who is apparently on a crusade to establish himself as America's conscience and chief protector against President Trump.
We've all seen the give-and-take of White House news conferences, and they sometimes involve feisty exchanges between the administration's spokesperson and members of the media. But there is a difference between a journalist respectfully challenging the White House representative and a militant advocate posing as a journalist and disrespectfully interrupting, disrupting, speechifying and trying to make himself the star of the show.
Acosta put on a clinic on how not to behave in such settings and illustrated why ordinary Americans are so distrustful of the mainstream liberal media.
The proposed legislation would mark a significant overhaul of the nation's legal immigration policy. Currently, our system substantially burdens taxpayers and the economy. More than half of immigrant households receive welfare benefits, whereas only 30 percent of native households receive welfare. Existing policies discourage assimilation and hardly incentivize learning English.
Moreover, the system has attracted low-skilled and unskilled immigrants into the country. According to the White House, only 1 in 15 immigrants enter the nation because of their skills. The overwhelming majority of the 1 million immigrants who enter each year are low-skilled or unskilled.
The RAISE Act addresses these problems directly, by replacing the permanent employment-visa structure with a skills-based system. Applicants would be considered based on their education, ability to speak English, high-paying job offers, past achievements and entrepreneurial initiative. Canada and Australia use similar merit-based approaches.
While continuing to prioritize immediate family members of U.S. residents, the bill would end preferences for extended family members and adult children. It would also limit the number of refugees who get permanent resident status to 50,000 per year.
This is a serious proposal and one consistent with President Trump's campaign promises on immigration. It would benefit America and our culture and would reduce the welfare burden imposed under the current system.
Unsurprisingly, certain liberal and mainstream media members are none too pleased with the plan. Acosta made that quite clear, treating the White House press briefing more like an inquisition than a fact-finding opportunity.
Sneeringly, Acosta attacked Miller, painting the proposal as racist and discriminatory. He implied the policy would violate the welcoming spirit of the Statue of Liberty toward the tired and poor of other nations.
Acosta seemed outraged that the bill would require immigrants to speak English, saying it suggests the administration is trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into the country.
Miller did not accept this claim passively, countering that it was one of the most outrageous, ignorant, insulting and foolish things Acosta had ever said.
Acosta was particularly hostile and rude, making pointed statements masked as questions, refusing to allow Miller the courtesy of responding and repeatedly interrupting him. It was as if Acosta imagined himself on the CNN debate show "Crossfire," forgot to do his homework and assumed he would be declared the winner if he monopolized the exchange with rudeness, arrogance, volume and ignorance.
A less insolent human being, after having thus misbehaved, would be repentant and wish he could erase the horrific episode. Not so with Acosta, who, after reflecting, doubled down in a discussion with Wolf Blitzer, saying the "White House has an unhealthy fixation on what I call the three M's -- the Mexicans, the Muslims and the media. Their policies tend to be crafted around bashing one of those three groups, and we just see it time and again."
As a self-righteous liberal, Acosta simply must impugn conservatives in the administration every time he gets a chance. So twisted is he that he apparently believes that those who support assimilation and a common language are bigots. Unless you promote open borders and Balkanization, you must hate people of different ethnicities.
Given such toxic biases, it's no wonder Americans rarely have good-faith, constructive debates on pressing issues. With such misguided finger-pointing, it's no wonder most people are appalled at the monolithic mainstream media.
I don't ordinarily use the term "fake news," but there was nothing remotely authentic about Acosta's disgraceful performance and even less that resembled an unbiased approach to the facts.
I sincerely hope that Acosta and his like-minded colleagues continue in this posture, further exposing themselves as the preening, demagogic leftist partisans they are.