Media Superheroes Acosta, Ryan Insult People’s Intelligence, Insist They’re Not Playing to Cameras

These people just make me detest Washington. On Tuesday, Variety published an absurdly gooey profile of the liberal media ahead of Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCA) and focused on three journalists, two of whom (CNN’s Jim Acosta and American Urban Radio Networks correspondent/CNN political analyst April Ryan) are perhaps the most arrogant journalists period. 

Whether it was flaunting the First Amendment as if it only applies to the media, arguing that President Trump has been violating the Oath of Office, or predicting that the President will cause a journalist to be physically harmed, the thin-skinned duo proved they can’t stand criticism.

The article by senior editor Ted Johnson includes some interesting quotes (which can be found here), but one of three videos accompanying the piece with Acosta, Ryan, and the far-less-pompous Washington Post correspondent Ashley Parker was where the action was. Numerous quotes were not included that story and should have been featured. 

For the record, Parker barely spoke because Acosta and Ryan continually tried to one-up each other with their insanity.

Ryan explained that “fake news” isn’t “a cute little statement” but rather “has tentacles that it’s reaching overseas” that “can really destabilize democracies.” She then accused the President of violating his Oath of Office by not supporting the media (click “expand” to see the entire rant):

Every President, on Inauguration Day, January 20, 12:01 p.m. or whatever day it is, becomes President but before he does that, he takes the oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the free press is part of the Constitution — First Amendment and he is swearing to uphold the Constitution. So he’s really being a hypocrite when he’s calling us “fake news” and saying — and it’s undermining us and we are a part of the pillars of this nation, the Founding Fathers. They didn’t know that there was going to be Twitter. They didn’t know there was going to be Ashley, they didn’t know there was going to be a Jim, they definitely didn’t know there was going to be an April asking questions of Presidents, but when we stand on what they laid for us and we — and the First Amendment is still strong — freedom of press and the President is going totally against that.

Sorry, April, but the First Amendment isn’t exclusive to journalism. It also gives us, as Americans, the right to criticize the news media as a bunch of biased hacks. 

Our friend and Daily Caller media reporter Amber Athey found perhaps the most appalling comment, which was Acosta channeling Jonathan Gruber in attacking the intelligence of the American people (again, click “expand”):

The problem is that people around the country don’t know it’s an act. They’re not in on the act and they take what he says very seriously and they take attacks from Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders and what they do to us on a daily basis very seriously. They don’t have all their faculties in some cases — their elevator might not hit all floors. 

Acosta reiterated prior predictions that Trump’s criticism of the press will result in someone getting hurt. 

Only then, Acosta smugly stated, will the Trump administration be forced “to take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves whether or not they played a role in this...and the moment that a journalist gets hurt in the United States of America because of rhetoric coming from the President of the United States, we have suddenly become something less than the United States.”

Ryan interjected that she wanted to go even further, slamming Trump for “throwing gasoline on the fire” and claiming that she doesn’t “travel as much as I used to” for fear of being harmed. 

She also took aim at the intelligence of Americans and hilariously claimed that the briefings were started in the sex scandal-ridden Clinton years as a source of transparency (click “expand”):

So not only is he the leader of the free world, he is the moral leader, but there are people who really believe that his word is testament, is Bible, is sacred and they will follow him and that is the concern and like you said, people who don’t have common sense or their — or their proper faculties who want to do this, so this — we — there’s a dangerous dance going on here. It’s a very dangerous dance and let me give you a little context and a little history. The press briefings, actually, became a daily thing for television by Mike McCurry, former White House press secretary under Bill Clinton and it was not an act, it wasn’t entertainment at that time. It was about transparency, allowing the American public to see what’s going on[.]

Ryan’s pretentiousness went up another notch when she falsely claimed that she doesn’t “play to the camera” in White House briefings and instead just asks questions. She foolishly claimed that the people who do play to the camera “are pushing...the agenda from this administration.” 

So when Kaitlan Collins was at the Daily Caller, was she pushing an agenda? Because I gather she’s not now that she’s a CNN colleague.

Acosta’s doomsday talk briefly subsided when he told Johnson that “it’s a great time to be a journalist” and even though “the President tweets something that’s false...it’s part of our job to, you know, correct that and make sure that the American people have the right information.”

In closing, he took a shot at those attempting to argue that the Obama administration’s treatment of the press was worse vs. the Trump administration, declaring that one would have to be “the most partisan person on the right side of the political spectrum” to make that statement.

To see the relevant transcript of the Variety videos for its latest print issue, click “expand”:

Variety videos
April 24, 2018

JIM ACOSTA: Well, under Obama and April can speak to this — she was in the briefing room and well, you know, Ashley and I covered Mitt Romney. You know, obviously, there was this adversarial relationship between the press and the people you’re covering. There was a, you know, there were tense moments, obviously, there’s tension. There’s that natural tension that exists between the journalists, the press, and the people that were covering, but it was never like this. We were never called “fake news.” We were never called “the enemy of the people” and that, I think, just created a totally different climate and environment that we’re all sort of trying to make sense of and trying to figure out, how do we cover the news in that kind of toxic environment and so that’s why, you know, for a lot of us, it’s very challenging but it’s also very rewarding.

(....)

TED JOHNSON: How was it the first time that Trump called you fake news? That seems — was that like a turning point for you where you said, “you know, I’m going to have to be much more aggressive?”

ACOSTA: Yeah I think so and Ashley remembers from covering the Trump campaign somewhat, you know, this happened throughout the campaign. He called us “the dishonest media,” “the disgusting media,” he called us “liars,” “thieves,” “scum,” “criminals.” You can go back and look at all the rallies and the transcripts. He said all those things about us. He hadn’t — he hadn’t gotten to his catchphrase “fake news” until that day in January 11 at that press conference. It was sort of like “you’re fired.” It’s a catchphrase. It’s a marketing term that he uses. I’m not — I’m not sure he necessarily means that, you know, he thinks we’re all spreading false stories. I think he uses that term to go after the press when there’s a story he doesn’t like and you can’t take it too personally.

(....)

APRIL RYAN: But here’s the thing. Fake news, by the president saying this, is not just a simple — a cute little statement for some. This has tentacles that it’s reaching overseas and I’ve heard from European leaders who are saying it can really destabilize democracies and they are very concerned about this fake news issue. Think about it. When you are in a country and your citizenry thinks that you’re fake, thinks that what the news is saying is fake, there could be anarchy some kind of way and it causes a destabilization of democracies. There’s tentacles to what this President is saying and this is the piece that gets me. Every President, on Inauguration Day, January 20, 12:01 p.m. or whatever day it is, becomes President but before he does that, he takes the oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the free press is part of the Constitution — First Amendment and he is swearing to uphold the Constitution. So he’s really being a hypocrite when he’s calling us “fake news” and saying — and it’s undermining us and we are a part of the pillars of this nation, the Founding Fathers. They didn’t know that there was going to be Twitter. They didn’t know there was going to be Ashley, they didn’t know there was going to be a Jim, they definitely didn’t know there was going to be an April asking questions of Presidents, but when we stand on what they laid for us and we — and the First Amendment is still strong — freedom of press and the President is going totally against that.

ACOSTA: The problem is that people around the country don’t know it’s an act. They’re not in on the act and they take what he says very seriously and they take attacks from Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders and what they do to us on a daily basis very seriously. They don’t have all their faculties in some cases — their elevator might not hit all floors. My concern is that a journalist is going to be hurt one of these days. Somebody’s going to get hurt and, at that point, you know, the White House, the President of the United States, they’re going to have to take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves whether or not they played a role in this, whether they created this toxic environment that resulted in a journalist getting hurt and the moment that a journalist gets hurt in the United States of America because of rhetoric coming from the President of the United States, we have suddenly become something less than the United States. We are starting to join at that moment, a different group of countries around the world where the press is not safe and I — I hope and I’d liked to see the White House and the President pay more attention to that.

RYAN: And, Jim, I’m going to take it a little further. He is throwing gasoline on the fire. Sarah — anyone in their — any administration who is calling the media is fake is throwing gasoline on the fire. I don’t travel as much as I used to, early on. But I’ve been told on numerous occasions by my fellow colleagues that when they are on the road and the President is revved up, talking fake news and looking at them and having the crowd turn — 

JOHNSON: Look at a rally.

RYAN: — yeah — at a rally. Many of our colleagues have said they are very fearful cause it just takes a moment for him to say something and the crowd can turn on them and they are ready to go after the press. So not only is he the leader of the free world, he is the moral leader, but there are people who really believe that his word is testament, is Bible, is sacred and they will follow him and that is the concern and like you said, people who don’t have common sense or their — or their proper faculties who want to do this, so this — we — there’s a dangerous dance going on here. It’s a very dangerous dance and let me give you a little context and a little history. The press briefings, actually, became a daily thing for television by Mike McCurry, former White House press secretary under Bill Clinton and it was not an act, it wasn’t entertainment at that time. It was about transparency, allowing the American public to see what’s going on, but at that time, during the Clinton years, there were all these snippets or portions of the briefing. Now, the whole briefing is considered an entertainment and people — I mean, people are tuning in. They want to see it and all of its fully glory, whether they’re going off telling someone, stop shaking your head or saying the wrong thing or wearing — having a — what is it? Some — some lettuce or something in their teeth or the flag is turned upside down, people are watching from beginning to end. Before, it was small segments or just little snippets, but it started in a time during the Clinton years for transparency so the American public can see — to seek — to come into the room. Now, people are watching it from the very moment and when we’re in there, I don’t play to the camera. I just go in there and the camera’s happening to be there, but you have questions you have to ask and, you know, they want to say that you’re playing to the camera, so be it. There are some people in that room and it’s not always the seasoned journalists who are trying to ask objective questions that are doing it. There are a lot of people in that room who are writing for outlets that are pushing an agenda — the agenda from this administration. So when you look at it, look at it’s totality, how it began, what happened then, what’s happening now and who is really the showboat, who is really looking for ratings. 

ACOSTA: I think it’s a great time to be a journalist. I was speaking to some students yesterday and I told these students, you know, you might want to think about whether you want to be a journalist. You miss your weekends and your holidays and your family birthdays and all of these things because, you know, it’s not the easier job in the world. Not everybody’s going to like you, but this is a great time to be journalist because of the environment that we’re in, the challenge that we’re up against and, you know, I mean, basically on a daily basis, we’ve all become fact-checkers. You know, the President tweets something that’s false. You know, it’s part of our job to, you know, correct that and make sure that the American people have the right information.

(....)

ACOSTA: So, yes, we are under fire, we are under attack, he’s put targets on our backs and I would say that is worse than what happened during the Obama administration. I think you have to be the most partisan person on the right side of the political spectrum to say, well, the Obama administration was just as bad as the Trump administration. I think that that’s just a false comparison. It’s false equivalency, but no. This is — this is a terrific time to be a journalist and that’s why events like the White House Correspondents Dinner are so important because they shine a light on, you know, some very important work that needs to be done right now.


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