I’ll concede that Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, is a show-off who brims with misplaced self-importance.
He also is a journalist who works for a legitimate news-gathering organization — who has been singled out unfairly by the president of the United States.
The White House yanked Acosta’s press credentials. Why? It said initially he put his hands on a young intern who sought to grab a microphone out of Acosta’s hands while he was asking the president a question.
I watch the incident live as it happened. Then I saw it again, and again. He didn’t do anything of the sort. Now the White House is yammering a different line, that Acosta was too persistent in his questioning.
Give me a break!
The White House, let alone the president of the United States, cannot put government pressure on a media organization by this kind of bullying. That’s what they’re doing in the White House. They are trying to bully and intimidate the media, which seek to get answers on all manner of government policy.
CNN has sued the White House, protesting the decision to rescind the reporter’s press pass.
Acosta is known as an aggressive reporter. He is far from the first or even the worst. Do you remember how Sam Donaldson would tangle with President Reagan? Or how about when Dan Rather would get under President Nixon’s thin skin? Did either of those presidents yank their press credentials? No. They sucked it up. They answered their questions and let the reporters and their employers chronicle their answers.
Trump talks like some kind of tough guy. He isn’t. He demonstrates profound weakness by banishing an aggressive reporter, whose job is to ask difficult questions.
The president’s job requires him to provide answers.