There are two things that are undeniably true.
- Jim Acosta continuously made any and all stories he reported on about himself and deserved to be pulled from covering the White House long ago.
- The White House could have cited his frankly embarrassing behavior and hostility toward the President and his administration without blowing yesterday’s incident out of proportion.
No one mentioned above looks good in this scenario.
If you look at the video of the incident, Acosta clearly doesn’t “assault” the young woman, though he does put his arm out to block her from taking the microphone from him, and he does end up coming into contact with her during the slightly-less-than-a-tussle.
That behavior is enough. “CNN’s Jim Acosta has become increasingly hostile toward this White House, and his erratic behavior has become too problematic to ignore. Because CNN has ignored this and not pulled him from White House coverage, we have no choice but to revoke his credentials.” I would have been okay with it. Secretly, I think other journalists would have been fine, too.
After all, how many journalists yesterday did not get to ask a question because Acosta yearned once again for the spotlight?
CNN absolutely should have pulled Acosta long ago. He is a distraction and has been for the longest time. Him pulling his little stunt yesterday, and the subsequent revocation of his credentials, took over the big story of the day: Donald Trump fired Jeff Sessions.
But, nope. While most of America couldn’t pick Acosta out of a lineup, that’s all most of the reporters on social media could talk about.
“This is authoritarianism!”
“The White House is LYING!”
“This isn’t democracy!”
“Freedom of speech!”
Acosta has become a distraction, and from a journalistic standpoint, anyone who was that belligerent with the subject of their beat would have been pulled by a responsible newsroom very early on. But, it’s all supposedly good for ratings. Except, the only winner here is Trump, who can once again keep the base rallied by pointing to the media as his enemy.
Was it worth it, Jim? Actually, no, I’m sure it was. Can’t wait for the book deal.