Jim Acosta is a grandstanding boob, and it was a tactical mistake for the White House to pull his press pass for being a grandstanding boob. I believe both things to be true, and I don’t see any contradiction. They are not mutually exclusive.
In the unlikely event that you’ve been on the planet for the past week but don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the moment when Acosta decided to turn himself into the story, even more than he usually turns himself into the story. It was a White House press briefing, and he just wouldn’t sit down and shut up, and…
That’s from WaPo, which slowed the video down to prove Trump wrong or something. I’m not sure how it makes Acosta look good, but whatever. He stood up to make his little speech under the pretense of asking a question, and when Trump said his time was up, he didn’t take the hint. He wanted it to be his show, even when the young woman tried to take the microphone from him. “Respecting women” only goes so far, right?
But if your hatred of Donald Trump has driven you utterly insane, Acosta is the hero of the moment. He’s the guy who isn’t afraid to look Bad Orange Man in the eye and spout whatever liberal platitude is most popular at that particular moment, and now he’s turned himself into a free speech martyr because the White House pulled his press pass. CNN is suing the White House to get it back. The whole thing would be bizarre in any other year but 2018.
You know what? The White House should give Acosta what he wants. And more. That’s how to beat him.
Jon Gabriel has the right idea here:
Only call on Acosta until the rest of the reporters demand his press pass is seized. https://t.co/hUSFQvxmpi
— jon gabriel (@exjon) November 16, 2018
Maybe don’t go that far. But I think he’s onto something. Maybe resisting the #Resistance isn’t the way to win.
Reminds me of an old movie. Remember what happened when Sgt. Hartman decided to punish the entire platoon for Private Pyle’s mistake?
And remember what happened next?
That’s what Trump should do.
I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. I don’t want any physical harm to come to Jim Acosta, and I certainly don’t want him to end up doing what Pyle ended up doing. But if Trump really wants to get back at Acosta, he should turn the rest of the press corps against him. He should make them resent Acosta to the point where attacking him is a form of self-defense.
Which wouldn’t be too difficult. You know they all hate him already. He’s stupid and self-absorbed even by cable-news standards. Now that Trump has turned him into a martyr, he’ll be even more smug and insufferable.
So from now on, Trump and the rest of the White House should be ridiculously pleasant and deferential to Acosta. They should make him the focus of each and every press briefing. They should put him front and center, and always call on him first. They should try to make him look as good as possible. Make him a teacher’s pet. Massage his ego until his knees get weak. Build him up. Give him all the attention he wants, and then some. Then let his jealous colleagues and rivals do the dirty work of bringing him back down.
Blanket party, anyone?
Of course, Trump will never do anything like that, because his ego is even bigger than Acosta’s. He goes by instinct, and his instincts only help people like Acosta. But it’s fun to think about. It would be wonderful to watch Acosta getting taken down by his own comrades. Instead, they’ll make him a hero.
These guys deserve each other. And we don’t deserve anything better, America.