Jim Acosta is the epitome of a CNN anti-Trump hack, one of many. Jake Tapper, once a reliable oasis of integrity in the expanding desert of corrupt and biased mainstream media reporting, has understandably rotted on the CNN vine since joining the network, but now and then Good Jake surfaces.
In a White House briefing last week, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany discussed President Trump’s call for children to go back to school in the fall.
“The science should not stand in the way of this, but as Dr. Scott Atlas said — I thought this was a good quote, ‘Of course, we can do it. Everyone else in the Western world, our peer nations are doing it. We are the outlier here.’ The science is very clear on this. For example, you look at the JAMA pediatric study of 46 pediatric hospitals in North America that said the risk of critical illness from COVID is far less for children than the seasonal flu. The science is on our side here. We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science. Open our schools.”
Acosta, who was there, deliberately redacted her words to make it appear that McEnany was dismissing the relevance of science, thus confirming a persistent mainstream media narrative about the Administration being science-deniers.
Other sources and websites followed the same course; here, for example, is ABC social media editor Evan McMurry:
And the shameless Trump-hating site Boing Boing…
I’ve been tempted to see how many of my Trump Deranged, biased media-enabling Facebook friends have passed on the lie to the acclaim of many “likes,” but I have enough aggravation.
Whether Acosta was Liar Zero or whether he got the idea from another reporter doesn’t matter. He circulated deliberate fake news, and could have no innocent justification. Later, after being called out on social media, Acosta added the missing context, but the fact is, he was caught.
He should be suspended at the very least for this, and probably fired. A news source with any journalism integrity at all would immediately discipline him. Of course CNN has said nothing and done nothing.
Jake Tapper did, though:
Now, Tapper’s not much of an Ethics Hero. He didn’t have the guts to call out Acosta by name, who should be called out by someone other than the President. “Be fair” is a futile exhortation for a mainstream media and his own employer and colleagues who have made it clear that they have no interest in being fair to this President, nor to the public it consistently misinforms. Still, in his miserable profession and from one of the most unethical news sources, Tapper’s outburst of integrity is as close to courage as we’re likely to get.
Later, Tapper corrected another CNN carrier of the same fake news, this time on the air.
When CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta referred to McEnany having an “alternative facts kind of moment,” Tapper said, “If I could just say, Sanjay, I think she was just trying to say that the science shouldn’t stand in the way because the science is on our side. I don’t know that all of the science is on their side- and certainly, this White House, their respect for science knows bounds, let’s put it that way, but I think that’s what she was getting at.”
Again, Tapper was trying to advance the truth while not being as emphatic as the episode of deliberate distortion by a news network warranted, but at CNN it qualified as a shining moment.
Jonathan Turley, praising Tapper on his blog, wrote, “This is what CNN was once and, with the help of figures like Tapper, it could be again: an honest and objective news organization.”
Let’s not get carried away, Professor.