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.