Remember when journalism was reporting the facts? Eh, probably not. Most young people have only experienced cable news, pioneered by the wonderful folks over at the Clinton News Network.
So, to them, it was perfectly reasonable when reporters went out of their way to worship the ground that former President Obama tread upon.
Then, when President Donald Trump got elected (against all of cable news’ expectations), the media began loudly complaining about all of the perfidies The Donald was visiting upon America — and how “the resistance” was standing up to the fascist-in-chief.
However, the journalistic establishment never said that they were going to become part of that movement — that would be an abrogation of their journalistic integrity, after all.
Which is why, during a speech on Monday, CNN’s Jim Acosta said quite rightly that journalists should join in with “the resistance.” Except when they should. Which is now.
Acosta, who has never been a beacon of journalistic integrity to begin with, has been best known as of late for sparring with both reality and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
However, during his remarks at the Poynter Journalism Ethics Summit (and what a place to give it!) in Washington, Acosta all but pledged that he would work with elements of “the resistance,” the loose term for groups and individuals whose pledged purpose is to delegitimize the Trump administration.
“We are not part of ‘the resistance’ but … if journalism is attacked, we should resist. That is up to us,” Acosta told the audience on Monday, according to The Daily Caller.
“I think these are all just American principles that we are allowed to push back on in our work.”
I’m at the #PoynterEthicsSummit! @Acosta is very strongly defending the institution of journalism and argues that journalists need to do more to protect the industry: “We are not part of ‘the Resistance’ but … if journalism is attacked, we should resist. That is up to us.”
— Zach Montellaro (@ZachMontellaro) December 4, 2017
— Cristiano Lima (@viaCristiano) December 4, 2017
So they’re not part of “the resistance” but they’re totally part of the resistance because journalism is being attacked. Gotcha. And I wonder why the Trump administration would ever be attacking them. Could it be the fact that CNN has been treating the president’s election as if it were Pinochet’s coup? Just a theory.
It’s little surprise that Acosta feels this way; this is a man whose antics in the White House press room have made Helen Thomas look like an impartial media wallflower.
Arguably, Acosta’s most infamous moment in the administration’s press briefings involved him telling Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller that the administration’s immigration policy was un-American because it apparently conflicted with Emma Lazaraus’ poem “The New Colossus,” which is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
During the exchange, Acosta also said that the administration was rigging the process to make immigration easier from the United Kingdom or Australia by favoring English speakers in the new metrics, according to Politico. (Acosta is apparently unaware that the world’s largest English-speaking nation after the United States is India followed by Pakistan, but there are a lot of things necessary to his job that Mr. Acosta is apparently unaware of.)
To his credit, Miller called Acosta’s diatribe “one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you have ever said.” And he was right, even though it has competition.
Nevertheless, the prospect of Acosta being “the resistance” is a decidedly lowering and benign one, but it’s certainly a rather sad state of affairs when a journalist — not a pundit — at a major network gives a speech like that at a time like this.
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