CNN’s Jim Acosta is the worst kind of journalist. His goal is not to seek out and report on the truth as any respectable journalist should. His goal is to insert himself into the news for the sake of his own career and ego. He adores attention and never reports anything without inserting his bias into it. Bias is fine for commentators. Acosta is supposed to be a reporter.
When his hard pass was revoked by the White House (technically, it was the Secret Service that revoked it), I sided with them over Acosta because, as I said a week ago, “Keeping a belligerent, self-absorbed attention-seeker like Acosta from entering the White House is defensible based on his unhinged actions today.”
After six days to think about it and research court decisions pertaining to freedom of the press, I have a confession to make. I allowed my opinion of Acosta, which is extremely low, to affect my opinion about whether or not he should have a hard pass. My new stance is simple:
They should give Jim Acosta his hard pass back because of the 1st Amendment.
They should then never call on him again at press events because he's a self-absorbed idiot.
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) November 13, 2018
I don’t believe Jim Acosta deserves a hard pass, but unfortunately the press isn’t held to a merit-based system, especially in Washington DC. Personalities are more important than skill on television. Acosta may not have an ounce of journalistic integrity, but he’s entertaining to leftists. That’s all CNN really wants.
There is a real danger here if Acosta isn’t given his hard pass back. The guidelines by which the Secret Service issues these passes are murky and have been debated in courts for decades. Essentially, they can give hard passes to bona fide journalists based in Washington DC reporting mostly on White House activities. They must pass a background check conducted by the FBI. They must be deemed as not a threat to the President and his family. Those are the criteria to receive a hard pass.
There aren’t really any specific criteria for suspending passes that have already been issued, so let’s ask ourselves some questions about Acosta’s situation.
- Does he pose a threat to the President or his family? No.
- Should his actions to withhold the microphone from the intern be considered “laying hands” on her, as Press Secretary Sarah Sanders suggested? Probably not, as long as you’re watching the real video and not the InfoWars video.
- Would his hard pass have been revoked if he wasn’t Jim Acosta from CNN, the most annoying questioner at the White House who works for the news outlet that’s most reviled by the administration? No.
Anyone who answers that last question honestly knows that Jim Acosta lost his hard pass because he’s Jim Acosta. As the President noted, he’s rude and unprofessional. His temperament is better served in commentary than reporting. Many of his questions, his follow up questions in particular, are amateur at best from a journalistic perspective but perfect when someone’s goal is “hey you guys, look at me doing journalism!” Everything is an attempt at a “gotcha” moment, which isn’t uncommon among journalists but Acosta often takes it up a few notches.
He is CNN’s unofficial Chief White House Debater. Whether talking to Stephen Miller, Sarah Sanders, or the President himself, Acosta attempts to turn every “question” into an altercation so he can toot his horn if he gets them riled up or play the victim card if he gets shut down or ignored.
The court will side with CNN and Acosta because the 1st Amendment protects him. After he gets his pass back, the White House should ignore him because this self-absorbed “journalist” is just an idiot seeking attention. Give him none.