Klavan On The Culture

Jim Acosta Is a Knucklehead

Jim Acosta of CNN shouts questions as he waits with other reporters in the rain outside the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, as Republican senators leave from the North Portico without speaking to reporters. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

One of my favorite moments of political hilarity this year was when the Statue of Liberty started crying. President Trump had just issued an executive order aimed at curtailing the number of incoming refugees intent on destroying the country and, oh, the Lady in the Harbor just could not control her girlish emotions.

“Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared. And not to be outdone, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi added, “As the Statue of Liberty holds her torch of welcome high, there are tears in her eyes.” One wanted to row out into the harbor and offer Liberty a gigantic copper handkerchief to prevent one of her gigantic copper tears from dropping on a ferry and sinking it.

If only the Democrats were as intent on enforcing the restrictions on government enshrined in the Constitution as they are bent on enshrining the Emma Lazarus poem in law. The poem, of course, is where the famous “Give me your huddled masses” stuff is written. The statue itself was meant to celebrate the Enlightenment idea of Liberty. Hence the name “Liberty.” The poem was tacked on later.

But then Democrats love to play off emotion to disguise their blithering hypocrisy, we know that. The Rule of Law, sacrosanct when it comes to allowing abortions, is suddenly sentimentalized out of existence when it comes to illegal immigration. This ideologically corrupt party would not hold a single elective office anywhere if they weren’t protected and defended by an utterly biased and dishonest news media dedicated to smothering facts beneath Democrat talking points.

Which brings me to CNN’s Jim Acosta.

Jim Acosta is a knucklehead. His performance at the White House press briefing on Wednesday was absolutely excruciating to watch. President Trump announced a legislative initiative to re-jigger our legal immigration system by weighting it in favor of desirable, English-speaking applicants. This seems like an eminently sane idea to me. If knowledgeable people disagree, I’d be interested in hearing their arguments. But who cares what Jim Acosta thinks? His job is to get information and relay it to the public so the public can figure things out themselves. But he didn’t do his job. He hardly ever does.

Instead he used the briefing to read presidential advisor Stephen Miller the text of the Lazarus poem and then ask whether the proposed legislation was in violation of the verse. When Miller tried to respond, Acosta kept interrupting — because why should a reporter listen to the answer to his question when he can talk more instead? Despite Acosta’s continual interruptions and grandstanding, Miller easily eviscerated the showboat blowhard. “Tell me what [immigration standards] meet Jim Acosta’s definition of the Statue of Liberty poem law of the land?” he asked hilariously. I cringed on Acosta’s behalf because I doubt Acosta has the self-awareness or dignity to cringe for himself.

Acosta memorably went ballistic when Sean Spicer stopped allowing cameras in these briefings. It’s easy to see why. Banning cameras was  a violation of our Constitutional right to see Jim Acosta! But never mind. Acosta can always get his face time at home base. After the briefing, he delivered his “report” on the legislation to Wolf Blitzer: “At times, this White House has had an unhealthy fixation on what I call the ‘three Ms’: the Mexicans, the Muslims, and the media.” Again, the relevant question: Who cares what Acosta thinks?

Or maybe CNN needs a new slogan: “We report. We decide. We report what we decide.”

Because it’s not just Acosta. The whole network is knuckleheaded. Chris Cuomo — the Fredo of the Cuomo dynasty — doubled down on the Lazarus love. The man who once tweeted that the Constitution doesn’t protect hate speech (it almost always does) apparently believes the Liberty poem overrides all that annoying Constitutiony-type stuff. He says the poem is “the signature promise of this country… a solemn vow that was supposed to endure forever.”

Actually, no it’s not. It’s a poem. And Acosta is an absurdity. And CNN is a waste of cable.

On the positive side for those of us who support a good deal of what this administration is trying to do, the news media — which is pretty much like CNN across the board — is protecting the president from his own foibles. No matter how much chaos is generated by the White House — no matter how odd and even untrue are the president’s tweets — the Trump gang seems a model of dignity, probity and integrity when seen against the backdrop of this sort of journalistic folly.

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