Evening Ethics Leftovers, 11/8/2018: Acosta, Beto, Tucker, And Claire

Good evening…

1.  The Jim Acosta Affair. I suppose my analysis of this hypocritical flap will surprise no one. No White House reporter who behaved as Jim Acosta did at the press conference yesterday would have been defended by his employers or other journalists. Dan Rather (with Nixon) and Sam Donaldson (with Reagan) were rude and confrontational (Funny how the only examples of journalists being disrespectful to Presidents involve Republicans–nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!), but nothing like Acosta was and has been. Imagine a journalist defying President Obama like that! It wouldn’t happen, but as with so much else, the rules are somehow different for President Trump.  This news media’s reporters have decided, consistent with the attitude of progressives and the “resistance,” to withhold even minimum respect and deference to the Presidency as long as Donald Trump occupies the office.

Acosta was not asking questions, but arguing his position with the President. That’s not his job, or his privilege. When the President told him repeatedly “That’s enough,” Acosta did not stop. That, all by itself, justified pulling Acosta’s credentials. The White House was foolish to concentrate on Acosta pushing the intern away. He had crossed the line before that; indeed, he had crossed the line of what the White House should require from a journalist many times before.

If Acosta apologizes to the intern and the President, and promises not to abuse his opportunity to ask questions at press briefings and press conferences, to exhibit a minimal level of respect, then the White House should give him another chance.

Commentators calling Acosta’s punishment a First Amendment violation should be ridiculed for the hypocrites they are. Ann Althouse points out that journalists were up in arms when  Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged with battery for grabbing Michelle Fields, a reporter. The level of contact in the two cases is similar. “Either both instances of battery matter or neither does. Pick one,” says Ann. But there’s a problem that Ann somehow doesn’t see. She writes, “I found myself thinking that Trump and Acosta are both in control and choosing to do this theater of mutual hate.” Acosta and Trump are not equals, however. Acosta is obligated to give due respect to the President of the United States, but the converse does not apply.

2.  Nice. Democratic “rock star” Senate candidate, and loser to the revolting Ted Cruz, Beto O’Roarke, couldn’t restrain himself from saying “fuckin” in his concessions speech. Democrats call Trump  inexcusably boorish, but he’s never done that. These crude public figures—politicians, actors, TV comics (“cockholster”: Stephen Colbert)—coarsen our culture and pollute public discourse. I will stand on my verdict on David Ortiz of my beloved Boston Red Sox, when he famously used the same word Beto did at a mic in Fenway Park as he declared Boston’s defiance and determination after the April 2013 Marathon bombing:

I love you, David, and you got us past the Yankees in 2004, but your choice of words was classless, crude and unnecessary. There were children in that crowd and watching on TV, as I was. You are a role model, and locker room language belongs in the locker room, not in public events. Your obviously calculated incivility moves the culture one more step away from public manners and toward obscenity as standard expression.

3. Question: Why do politicians think this is OK? Democrat Claire McCaskill, the Missouri Senator who also lost to Josh Hawley Tuesday, told us in her concession speech that she no longer has to be “careful” about what she says about her political positions. “I know my mouth gets me in trouble a lot, right?” McCaskill said. “But believe it or not, I really had to be kind of careful. Not anymore!” Like Peter denying Jesus three times, McCaskill’s last-ditch desperate appeal was that she is not “one of those crazy Democrats.”

And they wonder why the public doesn’t trust its elected leaders…

4. The Bad Guys. Protesters chanted outside of Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson’s Washington, D.C. house and vandalized his driveway last night while his wife was at home. “Tucker Carlson, we are outside your home to protest. … Your policies promote hate, and we want you to know we know where you sleep at night,” someone yelled into a bullhorn. “We know where you sleep at night!” the group chanted.

Psst! Morons! Tucker Carlson has no “policies.” He’s a pundit. Let’s also be clear: no conservative protesters ever, ever, in the nation’s history, have done this to any pundit or journalist, even the really vicious and ugly ones. Of course, no leaders of the Republican Party have ever urged their most extreme followers to confront, harass and “kick” those whom they disagree with, either.

My leftist cell Facebook friends got upset with me about my “bad guys” posts, because the truth hurts. I don’t call people “bad” because of what they believe, say, vote for or think: that’s the Left’s way. What makes one good or bad is based on conduct, how you treat others, and what you do to strengthen or harm your community and culture. Right now, only one side of the U.S. political spectrum is sending thugs to terrorize people based on their political views.

81 thoughts on “Evening Ethics Leftovers, 11/8/2018: Acosta, Beto, Tucker, And Claire

  1. 1: Acosta did not push the intern, if you believe that then it says something about the highly biased* sources you choose to trust. Watch the real video, or if you prefer, watch the one that shows exactly how the ones Sarah Sanders tweeted was doctored. You’ll see her looking to Trump for confirmation before every move and you’ll see her as making contact with him and even after she bumped him he said excuse me ma’am.



    *Read as outright lying

    • Serious question: how do I trust who is lying? The press is so biased against Trump I wouldn’t put it past them to reverse this. I view Jack as one of the very few trusted commentators.

      • Do you think Cspan doctored their video? You can go to them. You can compare it to the one Sarah Sanders used. You can consider that CSPANs has audio while the latter had it stripped so you couldn’t tell where it was sped up. You could try to replicate the methods used to spot a doctored video.

        You could even watch the side by side comparison attached to this article about halfway down the page. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-met-acosta-video-white-house-chop-intern-huppke-20181108-story.html

        • It there is no evidence it was sped up. Both Buzzfeed and PolitiFact have noted that. There appears to be a difference in quality and clarity which shows discrepancies.

        • Wow. You want to argue about “pushed”? The C-Span video shows him pushing her arm aside to keep the mic. No? If he pushes her arm, you argue that it’s “lying” to say he’s pushing “her”? Whaat parts of her body count as “her”? How about blocking her arm? Not fair? She was supposed to take the mic, and he had no right to pull, push, touch, block or make contact with her to interfere with that, and saying “excuse me” does not justify contact after the fact. I wouldn’t call it assault, or battery. It’s just out of line.

          You’re embarrassing yourself. And the issue is whether Acosta deserves to lose his credentials. He does.

            • She was trying to remove the mic, as that was her job, and POTUS had said “enough.” If you are serious, you are so biased you can’t see straight. If he had handed the mic to her, which was what he was obligated to do, there would have been no contact at all.

              I would have thought the “blame the intern” excuse would have been thoroughly discredited by now, but any port in a storm, I guess.

              • We’ll leave aside that everyone is calling Lindsay Walters an intern.

                She touched him. She made contact. He did not assault her as the Whitehouse is claiming. That’s the story, no after the fact rationalizations change that.

                • Because you’re not thinking like Trump. He doesn’t want to move on, he wants a story to push. He called on Acosta, he did it so he could say fake news enemy of the people, his jackass followers eat that shit up.

                  This is a stupid thing to focus on really. Think about it.

                  I understand that, in whatever case and with whatever explanation or defence [of Trump et cetera] that you will not accept it. Personally, I accept this and I do so because I understand that people — you, me and possibly everyone — ‘frame narratives’ that suit a larger, general view. In my view, the only way to understand the radically bizarre narrative lines operating in the present is to hold this understanding in the mind as one *gazes*.

                  Though I do suggest — have always suggested — that it is best to have a clear-sighted understanding of what *really is going on and why* even if one cannot talk about it openly. That has been my endeavor in the time spent on this Blog and as I [attempt] to study current events and understand them. One must have the meta-political perspective, and it must be a correct one and one that best reflects *reality*.

                  The conflicts arising in the present have to do with an outcome of social and demographic choices made in the Sixties and post-Sixties. These policy choices are now manifesting themselves in a new demographic that clamors for power and access. The elite that manages them, if you will, is what is termed The Democrat Party. It understands that if they as a demographic claim power through superior numbers that they, too, can go along for the ride as it were. There is a revealing video of Joe Biden explaining that white replacement is going on, what it means, and why [in the present dispensation] it is unavoidable. Thus, the basis issue here, the ur-issue, the meta-political issue is in essence white replacement. If one has one’s eyes open, one can at least see this, and either assent to it or dissent from it. But it should be seen.

                  Trump, I feel, is honest. I do not think he came into this as a ‘white nationalist’ nor as someone with race prejudices, nor anti-woman prejudice, nor any of what he is accused on. Trump is Trump. But he comes onto the scene of politics, and American history, when there are serious faults and fractures opening within the political and social body that no one can openly talk about. Not here, not anywhere.

                  The Left, the Progressives, the mass of Democrat followers is aware that over there, on the so-called fringes (an unfair and prejudiced term I should say) there are people, white people obviously, who are concerned for their well-being, their land, their children, their future. And they are trying, mightily, to gain a correct footing within a perspective so to be able to understand what is going on and why it goes on. They cannot see clearly, or they see *through dark glass* (as we all do to one degree or other: our basic problem! a question of view and interpretation), and so they *grab on* to partial views: globalism, *the liberal elite*, Soros, the Democrat Establishment. They do their best with what they have, and what they have been given.

                  If *our movement* [who are *we*?] gains ground, it will be by sharing a viewpoint and a perspective and, additionally, a certain knowledge base. We can do this and as a matter of absolute fact I can argue any of our positions, and decimate any on-comer, simply by describing accurately what is going on and making a case for the very good sense of our arguments. We have the upper ground. But as long as *they* (and *you*) are beholden to emotional irrational hysterical and idea-less arguments, we have no hope to penetrate your mind-space. And because you will not deeply consider our ideas and out positions, and describe us as *lunatic fringe*, you succeed in blocking our ideas from your own consideration. And doing this you serve, if I can put it like this, the opposition. And with that *white replacement* will be your destiny (if you live to see it).

                  Most everything else, it seems to me, falls into place when one defines accurately *what is going on*.

                  But it cannot be denied that Trump’s necessary and rational form of nationalism, which is nothing at all outrageous, is thoroughly distressing to the Democrat Party (a certain elite faction more properly stated, those who control vital industries, means of communication, etc.) have very good reason to be opposed to those mild nationalistic policies. Because behind them does indeed *lurk* if you will an intellectual movement which would, if all the facts were known, further limit immigration and choose to re-whiten America, that is as a demographic plan and choice. Just as it was *darkened* (sorry to use this lingo but it is unavoidable) by specific choices and policies, it can be re-whitened by similar policies-in-reverse.

                  Once the essence is seen and described things get far clearer, but not un-difficult. Greg Johnson’s The White Nationalist Manifesto lays out our case in absolute and sheer B&W terms. No ambiguity. No mincing of mealy-mouth words. Direct, honest.

                  And *they* have very good reasons to be concerned. If the knowledge gets out, if it is disseminated, and because it is truthful knowledge, it will convince and influence. This must be stopped (banning, de-platforming, doxxing, mobs appearing in front of your house . . .) but they will not be able to succeed. They can push it back though. (Fomenting a crisis, etc. and simply doing what they have been doing).

          • I’m surprised Trump hasn’t asked his staff to get a box of microphones and be ready to cut the channel once “you’re done” is issued.
            They can stand there like a fool with a useless prop and nobody has to get physical.

            • Because you’re not thinking like Trump. He doesn’t want to move on, he wants a story to push. He called on Acosta, he did it so he could say fake news enemy of the people, his jackass followers eat that shit up.

              Your mistake is pretending they’re running a government instead of putting on a show to rile up deplorables.

                • People like you are the reason I believe there is no hope. We don’t want the same country and likely never have.

                  That is because you have not really *identified her*. You do not really understand what she serves and why. At the same time (as I have been tirelessly repeating) you in your own way serve something quite similar. You serve the basic core that she serves.

                  I would say that in this sense both of your hopeless. Both of you are linked to the problem and are not solutions to it. You cannot ever really see the problem and get it out in the open.

                  Once the *real issues* come out into the open (as I meticulously wrote, above) then one can make decisions as to where one stand. Until then, the bickering is just noise. Doesn’t have any real substance nor consequence.

                    • I can only suggest that you stop seeing things through an emotional lens. I have no desire to be *arrogant* but I do have a desire to cut through the distortions that I have observed you and others engaged in. You mistake boldness and directness for arrogance.

                      All discourse that one does not want to hear, or cannot hear, is *tiresome*, so this is a silly remark.

                      Focus on the ideas. Refute them if you can. Otherwise THEY STAND as valid and uncontested.

                    • Alizia Tyler wrote, “Otherwise THEY STAND as valid and uncontested.”.

                      It’s rather arrogant to seemingly state that just because an argument is not contested that it’s “valid”.

                    • But it could have nothing to do with *arrogance* and be only a simple fallacy. That is essentially what you are saying.

                      However, I challenge Adimagejim as I have always challenged him: to stop responding through emotions and deal only with the ideas.

                      I also challenge you and anyone else to refute the assertions that I make. My efforts are in good faith.

                      I think you did understand, Mighty Zoltar, what I meant.

              • ”Your mistake is pretending they’re running a government instead of putting on a show to rile up deplorables.”

                Perhaps you and a collection of the WOKE should terrorize Lindsay Walters and her family to set ’em straight?

                • This is the core of either the genuine Trump Derangement or the dishonest “resistance” plotting: the assumption, without proof, that somehow an evil Bond villain, simultaneous an idiot and a sinister genius, has taken over the White House. Mind-reading, presumed malice and the assumption of diabolical motives are now automatic, and the innocent victims/deliberate fearmongers just default in that direction. Hence we get dire predictions, mind-reading, and, of course, presumption of guilt.

                  Having spent a lifetime studying the Presidents and the men who became President, I actually DO know what Trump is thinking in a broad sense: he wants to do a good job. He wants to be the best President he can be for his country and its citizens. He wants to be remembered as a successful President. Why do I know these are overwhelmingly likely? I know it because I have studied every one of his predecessors and their conduct in office and out of office, and this describes every one of them, AND the process of getting through all the hurdles and filters on the way to the Presidency, have, so far, made sure that every single President, no matter what other peculiarities or unique qualities, disparate backgrounds and pathologies they may have had, entered the office with at least that in common. 45-0 is pretty convincing…not statistically certain, but I’m confident. I have a lot more support for my confidence than those who have decided that Trump is evil because he’s a rich guy (like a lot of Presidents), a narcissist (like a lot of Presidents, close to most), has a wide mean streak (like quite a few), and had the audacity to defeat a candidate they really, really wanted to win (even though she was almost as loathsome as he is.)

                  Their certitude comes from hate and bias, and nothing else. As such, it doesn’t merit respect, just pity, dismissal and annoyance.

                  • “even though she was almost as loathsome as he is.”

                    was almost? I’d be hard-pressed to give the nod to who would be more so, the real difference being each’s…um…unique style.

                    I will say they leave the others in the dust.

                    Sorry about the troublesome Gotch character occasionally hijacking my account. Sheesh; talk about narcissists…

              • valkygrrl wrote, “Because you’re not thinking like Trump. He doesn’t want to move on, he wants a story to push. He called on Acosta, he did it so he could say fake news enemy of the people…”

                What ever would we do in comment threads at Ethics Alarms without valkygrrl here to explain to all of us what Trumps actual intent is. Valkygrrl’s ESP abilities are astounding, they stretch to the four corners of the globe, it’s clear that Valkygrrl is the only person on the planet using the whole brain.

                I bow to valkygrrl’s obvious superiority.


              • Your mistake is pretending they’re running a government instead of putting on a show to rile up deplorables.

                BITE ME.

                Know how you can tell what a progressive has been up to? They will ALWAYS accuse their opponent of what they have already been doing. They are the ones who do not care for actually helping those they say they support: they just want the issues.

                This repeats over and over.

                As an honesty test, Val, answer these questions in your head, just to yourself:

                Who do we have proof on about ‘Russian collusion?’ (Hint: look up who gave them a ‘reset button’ for the answer)

                How did minorities do under Obama? (Hint: look at unemployment numbers since he left office)

                Whose economy is objectively, undeniably better: Obama or Trump? What policy differences might account for that?

                I could go on, put you quite reading when I mentioned the word ‘honesty,’ which you either have no reference for (null word) or you actively seek to pervert the meaning for political gain.

      • The explanation for the incident it that it wasn’t the questioning that led to the press pass being pulled. Opinions about should-have have nothing to do with it. The official explanation is the one we have to work with. I see her purposefully make contact with him.

        For people who refuse to believe a woman’s accusations without 17 witnesses and a video, I find it quite strange you (plural) believe a woman was pushed when the video shows otherwise.

          • I don’t need to spin, you’re doing quite the job of spinning all on your own.

            I see the video, I see her touching him.

            The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.

            • True derangement. This might be the definitive example. Did you also see Trump with horns and a tail and a flowing red cape, laughing in flames? At this point, I wouldn’t doubt it. This like mass hallucination. And to defend a jerk like Jim Acosta! “But for Wales?”

              • That sounds like 2A.

                It doesn’t matter what you or I think of Acosta. As far as it goes, I don’t have strong feelings about him one way or the other, he’s just sort-of there.

                There’s video available to everyone that shows her making contact. Then there’s doctored video supplied by the prisonplanet guy that’s being used to smear a man.

                But sure, I’m the deranged one. What’s evidence compared to your feelings about Jim Acosta.

                Hmmm. Should I post the cognitive dissonance scale for you?

                • It doesn’t matter what you or I think of Acosta. As far as it goes, I don’t have strong feelings about him one way or the other, he’s just sort-of there.

                  But you are not really seeing. And because you are not seeing, you cannot describe. Your view has no use or value, but then those who argue against you are not too far from where you are . . . its bickering over inanities (so it seems to me).

                  Acosta represents a general corrupt media establishment and a very very powerful one. Are you even able to contextualize *him* and *it*? He serves that. And that establishment has it in for Trump. It is a fantastic level of opposition and I am only speaking of the American side of it. According to them for very good reasons. If one grasps those reasons they make great sense. They are operating with a definite logic. An intention, a defined plan, and one that has been agreed upon. There are reasons why they are doing this. They can be known and talked about.

                  President Trump sees what is going on, though he might not fully understand the ramifications. Just as no one here, or very few, can understand the ramifications of the present, those people there, too, are in the dark. Who has meta-political understanding? Who?

                  Seeing dimly through darkened glass. But who could guess what is going on in the minds of Pence and Kelly and the others as they watch the performance? It would be so interesting to be able to read their thoughts.

          • I absolutely agree that he should’ve lost his press pass because of this incident, but I’m just not seeing how he was supposed to have pushed the intern. Even in the “sped-up version” when he brings he arm down on to hers, it doesn’t look like he’s using enough force to hurt her, neither does he place his hands on her. When I first read the word “pushed”, I pictured him shoving the intern back. Watching the clip, absent the surrounding context, I didn’t see any obvious problem with Acosta’s interaction with the intern. Let’s say, hypothetically, that Acosta was merely asking one fair question, but it was one the president didn’t want to answer and ordered his mike taken. Would Acosta’s action in blocking the intern’s arm and finishing his question been bad in that scenario?

            And to be clear, I’m not making excuses for Acosta. Even if he meekly surrendered the mike, he still should’ve lost his credentials, as you stated.

        • I think this is worthy of the Ethics Alarms 2018 Outrageous Straw Man Award. Now, 17 and a video would be acceptable sarcasm if, for example, anyone had demanded, say “at least three” witnesses. But since the requirement stated was a barest of bare ONE witness, 17 is different in kind: “ridiculously excessive proof” as opposed to NONE. Now that’s a shameless straw man!

          Ethics Alarms congratulates the winner of this always competitive category!

    • “You’ll see her looking to Trump for confirmation before every move”

      You’ve never been in a hierarchy that has asked or ordered you to increase your assertiveness towards a miscreant have you?

      • Michael, in a similar vein she was looking for guidance. Accosta was told to give her the mic, he refused. She then looked at the prez to get a visual cue to continue to procede trying to regain the mic. Perectly understandable.

        I do think Accosta did not intend to do any harm to anyone nor did Corey Lewindowski.

        Accosta question about semantics caravan vs invasion was a wasted question and merely designed to paint Trump as a liar. So Trump characterized a group that some members claimed to be willing to violate legal procedures to enter an invasion – it would be correct to call it a potential invasion of these people.

        The second question asked if Trump was concerned about potential indictments coming from the Mueller investigation. He answered no. Accosta continued pressing the issue. For me the question was asked and answered.

        Trump walks away from podium and Accosta keeps going on and on.
        Of what relevance ar
        e these questions. Why not ask about expected costs of asylum seekers or could the caravan be used to divert resources from drug interdiction efforts that are designed to stem the opiod epidemic?

        The American people need information to understand policy decisions. We don’t need reporters asking inane questions

        • Your first paragraph is precisely what I was alluding to. In a developing situation, an unsure subordinate, an unplanned for contingency, there will be a lot of waffling on the part of the subordinate as the subordinate seeks to ensure they are acting out the intention of the superior. Especially in situations where escalating force may be required.

  2. It’s sad that Jim Acosta is probably out there thinking “I showed Trump for who he is” but the huge winner here is Trump. I almost suspect this is a setup on Trump’s part.

    Those on the left aren’t grasping that all of Trump’s deplorable antics aren’t a defect, they’re a feature his followers love. Trump wants to sow the claim that the media is full of biased lies. When the media sinks to Trump’s level, like Jim Acosta did, it makes Trump’s job to portray the press as a partisan enemy instead of arbitors of the truth.

    Heck it’s working on me. I still despise Trump, but now I think the media is equally contemptible.

  3. Regarding #4: The threatening mob at Tucker Carlson’s house has obviously never been introduced to the adrenaline-inducing percussive power of a 12-gauge shotgun being racked into battery. If these terroristic assaults continue, I predict someone will soon remedy this experiential deficit. These fools are likely oblivious to the completely predictable and tragic outcome of continuing these menacing trespasses. Perhaps they desire martyrdom for “the cause.” Ether way, it will not end well.

    • Increasingly we see protesters or mobs trying to break down doors. Sometimes it is largely symbolic, as with the Supreme Court, where no one was going to put even a dent in 11 ton bronze doors. However, in this case it was simply a door to a house, which is fairly vulnerable if enough force is applied. the question should enter everyone’s mind as to what these people would do if they were able to actually break down one of the doors.would they settle for tearing the house apart, or would they actually attempt to beat up or kill the occupants? I submit that it is distinctly possible that they would attempt to kill the occupants, including the families of whoever their targets were. I also submit that if that happened you would see some of the targets resorting to deadly force to defend their families. I also have to ask, exactly what would these people have done if the gates of the Supreme Court had given way? would they simply want to make their voices heard, or would they have wanted to find Kavanaugh and kill him? Did they think that the Supreme Court police wouldn’t respond with deadly force? This isn’t Ireland during the anglo-irish war, and this is not Constantinople in the time of Justinian, where crazy mobs killed officials and destroyed government facilities. For anyone to want it to be is indicative of a decided lack of sanity on that person’s part. I would also point to the fact that the Nika riots in Constantinople ended with the complete destruction of one of the factions that had fomented them. The left should take a look at these lessons in history before they decide that they are going to storm the Bastille and Institute their own Reign of Terror.

      • Despite all the organized and orchestrated conduct on the Left with virtually no similar conduct by the Right, Leftists acolytes will still insist that being called out for their misbehavior is “bothsidesism”. No it really isn’t…we aren’t calling out misbehavior by the left to try to balance some misbehavior by the right. We are calling out misbehavior by the left because for all practical purposes it is “fix your side because our side doesn’t behave like that ism”.

    • Isn’t it interesting that liberals only send their thugs to attack people in liberal areas. In conservative areas, people have rights of self-defense. In Missouri, for example, 3 unarmed people constitute lethal force. You have probably seen videos from Portland or Berkeley of multiple protesters attacking passers-by. In Missouri, you are justified in stabbing or shooting all of them. That is why these mobs don’t tend to be in conservative states.

  4. 2) I don’t understand the cynical cultural shift that a crowd finds a person’s sentiments to be be less believable unless they use the f word.

    I don’t just agree with you…I f-ing agree with you.

    I don’t just think he’s wrong…I f-ing think he’s wrong.

    I’m not just proud of you…I’m f-ing proud of you.

    Is this shift a consequence of expecting leaders to always say something positive and therefore everything positive has recalibrated to just middle of the road, so now we have to add expletive to demonstrate something additional?

    What then when expletive becomes normalized? Gotta smash a guitar on the stage while saying something positive and swearing?

    I for one won’t play that game. Either believe my words or don’t at their face value.

    • This is an interesting subject to me.

      It’s not that swear words add veracity, they add power.

      There are certian words that people attend to on reflex, even if they’re not totally following the sentence to that point. Often these words are violent or sexual (kill, die, gun, thrust) but not always (love, hope, life, freedom, God.) Swear words are among these words– your brain automatically registers them and pays attention.

      I first learned about this in the context of rap music, where part of the artistry is combining the rhythm with the rhyme and poetic meter and using these “alert words” within the meter to grab attention while keeping the flow. For the best rappers, sware words are part of their art. (Note that many rappers are not the best rappers.)

      In terms of rhetoric, a well placed “alert word” does the same thing. But the key difference is that since you’re not limited by rhyme or meter, they aren’t nearly as necessary– that is, you can bulid a powerful mental image or metaphor, or use tone and cadance or gestures and body language to emphasize your point.

      So basically, using swear words is a brain hack that makes what you’re saying seem more important to people. Aside from being coarse, it’s just lazy.

      • I get the purpose of the emphatic.

        But,somehow we got along fine without using them so frequently before.

        Yet here we sit, dropping expletives right and left, when before, as a culture, we somehow understood emphasis with the plain words.

        Is this is a function of speakers becoming stupider with less command of a versatile vocabulary? Or is this a function of speakers always speaking with highly positive language to the point that now our senses are dulled to such talk and we require a swear word to jog our senses?

        • I think it’s a matter of audiences having shorter attention spans and mass media creating an attention-grab arms race. And people with less rhetorical talent being thrust into the spotlight.

        • I sort of assumed it’s a regression to the mean- politicians once used lots of fiery and individualistic rhetoric, but mass media and mass polling has homogenized a lot of it to the point that everything sounds like talking points- even attack ads come across like scripted, overworked, canned dialogue straight out of a focus group or a marketing meeting.

          Dropping in an expletive gives the appearance of speaking off script, of being so invested in what you’re saying you can’t be bothered to stick to the canned speech. In my home state of Michigan it seems like every candidate claimed to have a plan to repair infrastructure, especially the roads- but the only ad that sticks in my memory is one that ends with (spoken like an afterthought)- “Oh yeah- and It’s time we fixed the damn roads.”

      • One can say you are absolutely amazing. You do not need the F’ing adjective to get someones attention. Using the F word as a noun, adjective,adverb etc is intellectually lazy and leads to a deteriorization of English language skills.

        Its worse than speakers that fill gaps with “you know”.

        • It is lazy, like I said, but “absolutely amazing” isn’t going to make anyone look up from their phone. You need to get creative with language to match the power of one of those kinds of words. (Or hire a good speech writer.) That’s the problem, there’s no easy fix to do the same thing.

          Of course, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be encouraged to try.

      • Thanks for the comment, Emily. It reminded me that as a child in the 40s, growing up in the 50s, the word “damn” was the favored expletive and “alert word” adjective. Like “fuck” now, it was verboten (that’s “forbidden,” as I use it, as a social construct without any legal force behind it) in the family, in polite company, maybe okay for adult males in a stubbed-toe situation and preferably with no children present. ”

        I was out of the country in the early 60s; when I returned in 1965, it seemed everyone including my heretofore verbally prudish mother and fervently religious Christian neighbors were saying “I don’t give damn” and “that damned so-and-so,” while the stubbed toe situation allowed for a “goddammit!” By the end of the 70s, “fuck” was king, becoming emperor during The Age of Rap. The “gees” of my parents’ youth, derived from “God” or “Jesus” were long gone: goodness me, gosh, golly, and gee -whiz… except in Our Gang comedies. [sidebar: “Baby Peggy” (precursor to Shirley Temple) is having her 100th birthday party in Niles, CA this week, but she never said much, being mostly in the silents.]

        Given that history, I can’t imagine what will follow. It must already by in the pipeline. No! Don’t tell me! I want to be surprised.

  5. This was supposed to be a press conference. Reporters don’t get to decide that they are going to monopolize the time and squeeze the other reporters out. That is what Acosta did. It should not have been allowed. He had time, he didn’t want to ask a question, the mic goes to someone else who does want to ask a question. What is so hard to understand about that. Jim Acosta does not decide who gets to speak and for how long at the President’s press conference any more than Kanye West gets to decide when and how long he gets to speak at the Grammy’s.

  6. The Acosta fiasco leading to his removal from the Press Room was absolutely justifiable without the so-called assault. The fact that Leftists are harping on the semantics of who pushed who is because that’s low hanging fruit to spin with.

    The Press Room is not a Free For All Rant Zone. Nothing about the 1st Amendment applies to that room, so that’s a non-starting argument from the get go.

    The man abused a privilege extended to him, was appropriately cut off and then resisted. There was every reason to remove his privilege.

    As for the ‘scuffle’ afterwards, if someone has been appropriately informed they are cut off and yet resist, what is the appropriate response?

    Of course forcibly taking the microphone is step one.

    And if necessary forcibly removing the man is step two.

    And none of that would be inappropriate NOR a violation of the 1st Amendment.

    • This approach plays directly into Trump’s narrative about progressives: use and abuse the courts when you lose by other means. Allowing a bully ( as Acosta is viewed by common Americans) to disrupt a POTUS press conference is anti American.

      Oh, you may be right. A court case will take time, though, and I bet the due process gets done well before a verdict.

      Trump acts like a progressive in these matters, and has no compunction with progressive tactics. Alas.

  7. Wait, what? Trump didn’t encourage his followers to physically confront protesters? He didn’t say he would pay their legal fees? He didn’t praise the physical assault of a journalist by a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives?

  8. So I’ve done what I think is my due diligence in watching every version of the video linked here in this thread. I would have further sought out the C-SPAN version, but it was already among the ones referenced.

    Here’s what I see:
    – JA is holding the mic with his right hand, gesturing with his left
    – Woman approaches from JA’s left side
    – Woman attempts to reach for mic with her right hand, reaching over his left arm, but avoiding contact
    – JA uses outstretched left arm to block her access to the mic, twisting slightly to his right and pulling the mic away from her hand
    – Woman repeats the attempt a 2nd time, in exactly the same way leaving her open hand in front of him a bit longer (expecting him to hand it to her)
    – JA twists to his right, a bit more than before, moving the mic farther from her hand
    – Woman reaches around his left arm with her left hand, grabs the mic (and only the mic)
    – JA pulls the mic back against his body (what looks to me like an attempt to pull the mic out of her grip) and at the same time uses his left arm to push her left arm downward (and into a position where she can no longer reach the mic)
    – Woman does not immediately release her grip on the mic
    – JA speaks directly to the woman for the first time, saying “Pardon me, Ma’am, I’m … I’m ….”
    – Woman releases her grip on the mic and turns her body to face the President, looking up at him (probably seeking guidance)
    – Woman crouches down on the floor

    This is my factual description of what I saw.
    The italicized text is my own interpretation of what I saw (rather than hard facts).

    Is anyone here going to dispute my reporting of the facts of the incident?

    Based on what I saw, the woman did not make contact with Jim Acosta, only the microphone. To my eyes, it looked like she was avoiding it. He made contact with her.

    His failure to immediately surrender the microphone was what escalated the situation.


  9. Michael West wrote, “Well, apparently Acosta got back in after his law suit.”

    He should be completely ignored and shunned in every way, don’t even acknowledge his presence, look right through him and make sure to allow questions of absolutely every person that is immediately surrounding him. CNN will eventually be forced to replace him or never have their grandstanding “questions” addressed.

    No one’s “rights” are being infringed upon, not Acosta’s and certainly not CNN’s, they have many reported they can put in that position. It’s obvious that Acosta is a self-serving narcissistic prick; I’m sure if someone would do enough digging they’d find a male or female High School classmate or two that he touched in a perceived sexual manner without their explicit permission, sexual assault, or find out that he’s spewed inappropriate jokes or displayed inappropriate hand gestures. CNN would have to condemn him and be shamed for putting such an evil person in a place to publicly represent them.

    Can you tell that I’m f’ing sick and tired of all the left’s bull shit?

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