Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center already despises CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta for failing to adhere to its right-wing agenda, and it hardly needed added ammunition to perpetuate its war against him. But President Trump provided some anyway, and the MRC's war on Acosta went to a whole 'nother level.
When Trump insulted Acosta for trying to ask a question at a Nov. 7 presidential briefing, the MRC's Scott Whitlock reveled in it, hyperbolically calling it "WAR" in his headline and touting: "The President slammed Jim Acosta as a 'rude,' 'horrible' and 'terrible person.' At one point, Trump told Acosta to sit down as a White House aide tried to take the microphone away from him." Whitlock went on to happily transcribe:
As a White House aide attempted to take away the microphone from Acosta, the journalist pushed her away. Trump snapped, “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN.”
The fight continued as the President fought back: “You're a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible and the way you treat other people is horrible. You shouldn't treat people that way.”
When CNN personalities defended Acosta, noted Acost-hater Curtis Houck put "HISSY FIT" in all-caps in the headline of his rant, sneering that the defense was a "20-minute love letter to itself":
After Wednesday’s free-wheeling and tense White House press conference, CNN went on the offensive against President Trump, illustrating a level of self-centeredness that’s unrivaled in the media and showing petty levels of emotion on-set reacting to the President’s condemnations and heated exchanges with chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, political analyst April Ryan, and PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor.
Check out the video here of co-hosts Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper welcoming on Acosta like a triumphant Captain America who took on the President as if he were Thanos in Infinity War, but actually won.
Legal analyst Laura Coates led off this shameless display of arrogance, ludicrously claiming that the media did not “take the bait” or engage in a “tit for tat” and lashed out in the same way the President did at the media, including Jim Acosta and his throwdown. Yes, really.
Of course, Houck also thinks that it's "self-centered" for journalists to be concerned about their safety in the face of an anti-media president, so his priorities are a little distorted.
When the Trump White House pulled Acosta's press credentials, Houck was excited about that too, squarely blaming "circus act" Acosta and, again, a purportedly narcissistic CNN and certainly not a thin-skinned president:
As Acosta had likely hoped, it drew attention to himself and CNN, triggering over 20 minutes of CNN expressing its love for, well, CNN while showing its undeniably deep disdain for the President.
After years of back-and-forth jousting, this feud came to quite the head Wednesday night and will certainly reverberate across the political universe. And without a doubt, CNN will seek to make this about, well, CNN.
And, predictably, Houck whined again when CNN defended him on air.
Also predictably, the MRC almost completely ignored the fact that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted out a doctored video showing the contact between Acosta and the White House intern trying to take the microphone away from him as more violent than it actually was. It was only obliquely referred to in a Nov. 8 post by Kristine Marsh noting the "suggestion" that Acosta assaulted the intern.
When CNN filed suit against the White House over the pulling of Acosta's press pass, the MRC cranked up the anger again. MRC chief Brent Bozell issued a rant claing that "Jim Acosta is not a reporter; he is a left-wing activist" and "CNN is not a news organization but a political hit squad for the far left." He and Tim Graham followed with a column listing "Six Reasons the CNN Acosta Lawsuit Is Lame," one of which was defending Trump's right to take questions from whomever he chooses like other presidents have, adding: "President Obama never consented to questions from Sean Hannity."But Hannity is not a White House correspondent; he's a right-wing Fox News ranter with an affinity for conspiracy theories.
Geoffrey Dickens and Bill D'Agostino introduced a montage of out-of-context "disruptive behavior" moments by Acosta under the headline "Here’s Why Jim Acosta Should Be Kicked Out of the White House," huffing: "CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta – during the Trump administration – has shouted at and talked over press secretaries Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders. He has interrupted his fellow White House press corp [sic] colleagues, called the President himself “fake news” and even screamed at Trump as he was talking to children at the annual Easter Egg roll."
Alasa for the MRC, that was not to be, at least in the meantime: a judge restored Acosta's press pass. And, of course, they grumbled about that:
- Houck complained about the "exuberant mood" at CNN after the ruling, adding an attempt at a hip allusion: "For as much as CNN thinks of itself as The Avengers, there's likely a fair portion of the American public that instead sees them as the cast of Monty Python and the Holy Grail running away from the Rabbit of Caerbannog."
- Whitlock dismissed CNN's "excited" reation to the restoration of Acosta's press pass as "self-important," further grousing that "Panelist Jeffrey Toobin smugly redefined the liberal Acosta as an American hero."
- D'Agostino was annoyed that CNN's Brian Stelter said that "the courts effectively did their jobs" in restoring Acosta's press pass.
The MRC can't even lose gracefully.