He may be one of the most insufferable faces in the media, but CNN’s Jim Acosta ensures two things: another in-kind contribution to the Trump 2020 campaign and a nice ringside seat to seeing him get pummeled by the president. We all want to see the bloodsports. In fact, that goes for any reporter who tries to take on this president.
We’re dealing with one of the most entitled and intellectually soft segments of the workforce. They hate it when Trump trashes them, likening it to a slide toward authoritarianism. It’s not; get a grip. Everyone else sees pampered babies getting canned and a beating that’s long overdue. In the past two weeks, CNN has demonstrated that, along with PBS’ Yamiche Alcindor. There is no appearance of this, that, or the other with these clowns. They are the opposition media, rooting against this administration and the country because they want Trump removed from office. It’s just that simple.
There are a few important principles, which I’ll often return back to with Fourth Watch. First and foremost, this is not an “I hate the media” newsletter. I love the media. I want it to be better. For 10 years, I was in the media – with stops at CNN, Fox News, NBC, TheBlaze, Mediaite and TVNewser. It is because I love the media that it so pains me to see what it has become, particularly in the past 3 years. The introspection-free, self-serious, geographically-insulated apparatus that feeds most of what counts as “the media” these days has sadly lost its way. Trust in the media has always been low. But as many in the media on both sides of the political spectrum become more polarized – and polarizing – trust in the media is now at historical lows.
This will be a newsletter about the media, by someone who was in the media, but is now very much outside the media – and, ideally it is for people who are both in the media and people who are so far outside the media they don’t even think “the media” is something they’re particularly interested in.
There are four key pillars of Fourth Watch – intellectual honesty, intellectual consistency, intellectual curiosity, and intellectual discomfort. Honesty and consistency – independence from either political party, independence from any established belief. And curiosity and discomfort – a never-ending desire to be challenged, to interrogate our own beliefs. Disagreement strongly welcomed.
And he paints himself as an independent, saying he voted for Bush in 2004, Obama in 2008, and stayed out the 2012 and 2016 elections. Yet, Krakauer knows that if the media wants to be better, the powers that be within CNN might have to muzzle Acosta. They won’t, of course, because CNN is an anti-Trump network. In one of his newsletters, he torched both Acosta and PBS’ Alcindor for making the press look like they hate Trump, though I and many others think they do. Their cheap antics are only doing one thing: helping Trump get a second term. Granted, I like that part [emphasis mine]:
Jim Acosta loves nothing more than Jim Acosta.
But I've also half-joked that if we found out, years from now, that Acosta was actually a plant and was secretly working for the Trump re-election campaign, I wouldn't be shocked.
Take this moment from Friday's marathon coronavirus briefing. Watch how Acosta plays the role of absurd, antagonistic journalist, and tees up Trump to deliver what could essentially be a campaign message. "We hear from a lot of people who see these briefings as sort of 'happy talk' briefings," said Acosta. "Do we have enough masks? No. Do we have enough tests? No. Do we have enough PPE? No."
Then Trump jumps in, and counters every point. "There's nothing happy about it, Jim. This is 'sad talk,'" said Trump. "These are the saddest news conference that I've ever had. I don't like doing them. You know why? Because I'm talking about death...There's no 'happy talk' Jim. This is the real deal."
Trump couldn't ask for a better foe than Jim Acosta. And the reporters who are trying to do good work, get answers to very real questions, know this.
One of those reporters who has shifted from fairly solid New York Times journalist to #Resistance Signaler has been PBS's Yamiche Alcindor. During that same briefing, Alcindor took an answer from Surgeon General Jerome Adams, in which the African American administration member used terms like "abuela" and "Big Mama" to talk to Hispanic and Black communities, and noted on Twitter, during the briefing, "many found this language highly offensive."
So Alcindor took the opportunity later in the briefing to ask him about this 'offensive' commentary. "There are some people online that are already offended," she said... during the coronavirus briefing.
Adams' answer was nuanced and thoughtful. He described conversations he's had recently with the NAACP on how they'd like him to target outreach to the Black community. Forget the double standard - like when President Obama said "Get Uncle Joe, get Pookie, Get Javier to vote" - the lack of seriousness by some in the media is juxtaposed the seriousness of Trump and his administration during these briefings. As I've noted, Trump does veer away from that seriousness on Twitter.
But exchanges like the ones with Acosta and Alcindor Friday during coronavirus briefings are actively helping Trump get re-elected - and they make all in the press look bad.
Yes, in case you missed that part, Alcindor tried to suggest that black Surgeon General Jerome Adams was racist. Adams stressed the continuance of the social distancing protocols, which have helped slow the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
“We need you to do this if not for yourself than for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy, do it for your big momma, do it for your pop-pop,” he said, which Alcindor said some people might find offensive, and by that, I mean the five or so random Twitter eggs with less than 50 followers who tweeted at her. It’s a joke.
This isn’t the first time Krakauer has ripped Acosta. In 2018, he took to Twitter to wreck Acosta, noting that his antics confirm the anti-Trump bias while adding that he’s become an embarrassment to the industry.
On a day journalists could honor the memory of fellow reporters tragically killed due to a deranged person with a vendetta going back years, Acosta tries to shift the blame to Trump, thus validating many Americans’ feelings about the Acela Media (that existed long before Trump).— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) June 29, 2018
Sister Toldjah over at RedState notes that even Acosta’s colleagues have called him out on his crap. ABC News’ Jon Karl’s book wrote that Acosta’s insufferable press room demeanor only confirms the ongoing narrative about an anti-Trump opposition press. Jon, it’s now a fact. It’s been so since 2016. You guys are the enemy of the people. And something very special should come to every newsroom in America on November 4, 2020, when Trump is re-elected over Joe Biden’s hologram.
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