Via Mediaite, individuals are pointing to what Jon Stewart mentioned final week about the media’s narcissism in wrestling with Trump as a premonition of what occurred yesterday on the White House with Acosta. Eh. It’s true that he’s the primary cable information reporter who pops to thoughts while you suppose “narcissism” and “media.” (Or “narcissism” and something.) I discussed him myself in my publish about Stewart’s remark. But what Stewart meant was that reporters take honest offense when Trump calls them “the enemy of the folks” and so they let that affront colour their protection priorities. They need to struggle him on that time and defend their significance to civil society, which leads them supposedly to divert assets from extra vital coverage disputes. It’s narcissism, however narcissism in service to the trustworthy perception that they’re serving the folks by monitoring what highly effective authorities officers are as much as. It’s partly about ego however partly about beating again the authoritarian notion that holding the chief accountable is a few type of gentle treason.
Acosta’s narcissism is shallower. Yeah, he’ll complain concerning the “enemy of the folks” stuff too however that’s not what units him aside from the pack and attracts particular ire from Trump’s followers. His narcissism is pure grandstandin’ vainglory. The solely factor that makes him happier than doing his Sam Donaldson “aggressive questioner” shtick when the cameras are on is hinting afterward on CNN about how courageous he was in aggressively peppering the president along with his questions. His fights with Trump are 99.44 % efficiency, which is why yesterday’s fiasco at the press conference was so dispiriting and exhausting. Trump clearly relished the fight, utilizing Big Jim as his foil. But Acosta relished it too, utilizing the president of the United States as his personal foil. It reeked of kabuki on each side. He’s now even earned coveted “Onion punchline” status due to it.
For all of the takes about how Trump used the incident strategically, to shift nationwide chatter away from the Democrats’ takeover of the House, I believe Acosta makes use of these moments strategically too. Dana Perino says within the clip under that she is aware of a few of Acosta’s CNN colleagues aren’t blissful along with his showboating; that’s no secret, because it’s been reported before. If Trump had simply begun ignoring him at pressers, as Ed beneficial doing in his publish this morning, or taken a low-key method to Acosta persevering with to embarrass himself, CNN execs may need quietly rotated him onto a brand new beat in due time. He’s not serving to their inch-thin pretense to this-is-an-apple objectivity, in any case. But now Trump’s made him a martyr and a media trigger celebre by revoking his “laborious move” to the White House. If CNN pulled him at this level they’d be capitulating to a heavy-handed tactic by the White House to freeze out a hard journalist. The Resistance would hate them for handing Trump a win and the trade would hate them for rewarding Trump’s anti-press instincts. So now they’re caught with Acosta.
And I believe Acosta knew it. I don’t suppose it goes so far as him making an attempt to engineer a giant freak-show incident replete with disputes over how intentionally he touched a White House staffer’s arm, however the normal hyper-confrontational method to Trump and Sarah Sanders that he takes at pressers is a type of job safety. So lengthy as he enjoys “particular enemy” standing from Trump, CNN can’t take him out of the White House. Otherwise they’d be surrendering to the president. And to, er, professionalism. “What do the bosses at CNN see as their mission? asks Chris Wallace within the clip under. “In this explicit case is it to cowl the information, or is it to make a scene?” Well, CNN?