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August 1, 2018

CULTURE OF CONTEMPT: Politico Reporter Apologizes for ‘Caustic Remarks’ After Mocking Trump Supporters at Florida Rally.

Politico reporter Marc Caputo faced backlash on Twitter after he mocked President Donald Trump’s supporters for heckling CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, calling the president’s supporters “garbage” and saying they didn’t have any teeth.

Acosta checked in with CNN host Wolf Blitzer Tuesday night to report on the environment of the Trump supporters at the upcoming rally in Tampa Bay, Florida on Tuesday evening. He said they were chanting things like “CNN sucks” and “fake news.” He would later post videos on Twitter showing the crowd chanting, prompting reporters and Democratic figures to come to his defense and condemn the crowd for verbally attacking the media.

“Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy,” Acosta tweeted.

In a now-deleted tweet, Caputo commented on the video, saying, “If you put everyone’s mouths together in this video, you’d get a full set of teeth.”

In another deleted tweet, he responded to a tweet castigating his mockery of Trump supporters. “Oh no! I made fun of garbage people jeering at another person as they falsely accused him of lying and flipped him off. Someone fetch a fainting couch,” Caputo wrote.

Two points: (1) Yes, this is what the press thinks about Trump supporters, and this now-deleted tweet was an honest reflection of that. It’s totally hypocritical for people like Acosta to clutch their pearls about Trump’s “rhetoric” given how they treat, and talk about, his supporters. And as for their fear that Trump’s “rhetoric” might lead to violence, note how they skip right over the fact that Democrat James Hodgkinson shot GOP Congressman Steve Scalise as he tried to massacre the Republican House leadership.

(2) What’s worse is, Caputo’s actually one of the better political reporters, willing to report stuff that hurts Democrats and helps Republicans without sweeping it under the rug. That’s good, but if he thinks this way, what are the rest like?

And yes, he offered a solid apology. But that doesn’t change the attitude that his original statement revealed, or the fact that it seems to be widely shared among his press colleagues.

UPDATE: From the comments: “What Acosta and his ilk are missing is that Trump isn’t whipping up that hostility, he’s just tapping into it.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Oh, this helps: Amy Siskind reports Eric Trump for encouraging violence after he retweets video of Jim Acosta being heckled. Journalists and their hangers-on are doing more to encourage violence against journalists than Trump is.

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