Screengrab from https://youtu.be/jE2Jf0JML78

 

If there is a single media personality that epitomizes the overweening arrogance, sub-caliber IQ, and lack of self-awareness that is the comic archetype of a television celebrity reporter it is CNN’s Jim Acosta. Ever since CNN decided to position itself as the official mouthpiece of the anti-Trump Resistance, Acosta has been its point man every day in the White House. Just a couple of weeks ago, Acosta tried to get President Trump’s attention…or more accurately, he tried to get attention for himself…by screaming a question from the back of a press conference. Here is Ben Shapiro on the incident, you can watch Acosta in action starting at 0:56.

Hours ago, President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May were holding a press conference.

Via RealClearPolitics:

Earlier in the press conference, Trump called out CNN after receiving a question from NBC News reporter Hallie Jackson. Trump said NBC is “possibly worse than CNN.”

“Mr. President, since you attacked CNN, can I ask you a question?” Acosta asked Trump.

“[FOX News correspondent] John Roberts go ahead,” he said.

“Can I ask you a question?” Acosta persisted.

“No,” Trump told him.

“CNN is fake news,” Trump said. “I don’t take questions from CNN. CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from CNN.”

Acosta brought the press conference to a halt insisting that the U.S. president take his question. Trump tried to move things along by calling on Roberts again.

“John Roberts from FOX, let’s go to a real network,” Trump said

“Well, we’re a real network too,” Acosta said, having the last word.

Two thoughts here.

In terms of behavior, I think Trump is punching down, like below the soles of his shoes, to shut down Jim Acosta. Acosta is a twerp who probably spent all of middle school having other kids flick the backs of his ears as they passed him in the hallway and leaving him cowering in tears in the guidance counselor’s office. On the other hand, given that CNN makes a big deal of this kind of bullsh** in its coverage–they portrayed Acosta as some kind of brave truth-teller after his churlish behavior at the last press event–it is probably necessary that he get these smackdowns. I don’t know what lesson will be learned from this by future presidents. Historically, Democrat presidents (see Clinton and Obama) have been handled with kid gloves by the press and Republican presidents have played the role of good-natured punching bag (see George W. Bush). Will the next Republican president approach his dealings with the press as though he’s in an MMA cage match? Or will he revert to type and just grab his ankles and ask them to be gentle?

Strategically, there is zero doubt that Trump’s media strategy is working. Recent research has found that supermajorities of Americans believe the media is pushing its own agenda and CNN is feeling the impact as they are a non-entity among news outlets and are in a death struggle with the Food Network for ratings. Many Europeans are not caught up in the sturm und drang of American domestic politics and are unaware of Trump’s combative relationship with the media, now they are. And this will have an effect on how a lot of Europeans view news from American sources and, perhaps, get them to question what their own media is feeding them.

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