It’s increasingly obvious that Jeff Zucker’s vision for CNN is not that they report the news in a clear and illuminating way but that they become the news thanks to the personalities and their war with the White House. This is the only thing that can explain his decision last week to promote reporter Jim Acosta to the position of CNN’s chief White House correspondent rather than fire him for continually and repeatedly making an absolute ass of himself at press conference after press conference. Acosta’s secondary agenda is acting as a thorn in President Trump’s side, but it’s clear that his primary agenda is just to get his name in the news as much as possible.
“CNN has announced a number of new assignments for its White House and Washington-based correspondents, timed to the start of President Trump’s second year in office,” the network announced last week. “Jim Acosta has been named CNN’s chief White House correspondent. Acosta has covered the Obama and Trump White Houses for CNN since 2013.”
Riding high on his new job, Acosta again did what he does best on Tuesday – make himself the focus of attention. After badgering the president in the press pool with questions about Trump’s “racially charged language” (really, they are still on about that?), Acosta was essentially shut down by members of the White House staff. This gave the “reporter” an opportunity to once again go on Twitter and play the martyrdom card.
“As I attempted to ask questions in Roosevelt Room of Trump, WH press aides shouted in my face to drown out my questions. I have never encountered that before,” Acosta tweeted. “What occurred reminded me of something I would see in a different country. Certainly not at the WH. Certainly not in the U.S.”
Wow. Such dictatorship. Much scary.
Acosta then took his tiresome questions and followed Trump to the Oval Office, where he began yelling for the president’s attention. Finally, Trump called on him and he was finally allowed to do his grandstanding thing.
“Did you say that you want more people to come in from Norway? Did you say that you wanted more people from Norway? Is that true Mr. President?” Acosta shouted.
Somehow holding back an eyeroll, Trump said, “I want them to come in from everywhere.”
Acosta, though, had to get his digs in. “Just Caucasian or white countries, sir?” he asked. “Or do you want people to come in from other parts of the world – people of color?”
But Trump had had enough. He pointed at Acosta and said, “Out!”
We’re supposed to view this as some egregious slight against freedom of the press, apparently. But what Acosta and CNN are engaged in barely rises to the level of news. They are playacting, building up a pro wrestling storyline for their halfwit audience to follow: The heroic CNN vs. the evil Donald Trump. Trump isn’t above playing this game from time to time, but you can’t willingly participate in a “feud” with the president and then go back to pretending you’re a serious place for serious journalism. And Acosta’s dumb questions prove that he’s not doing anything that could be construed as reporting, in any event. His boss saw how much coverage April Ryan got for her “Are you a racist?” question last week, so he had Acosta – five days and five dollars short – go back and try to do the same.
It’s an embarrassing time for the mainstream media, but no one adds more fuel to the embarrassment bonfire than the clown Acosta and his CNN cohorts. If they were barred from the White House grounds altogether, we would just point and laugh. They’ve earned it.