Fake News! Jim Acosta Claims ‘We Don’t Want to Navel Gaze Too Much’ Touting Anti-Trump Editorials

Thursday’s nationwide collusion effort by about 350 newspapers didn’t do much of anything to convince skeptics that they’re not out to get President Trump. Rather, editorials denouncing Trump showed the arrogant yet thin-skinned nature of the media and did nothing to repair their image. And CNN’s Jim Acosta perfectly encapsulated that on The Situation Room

Filling in for Wolf Blitzer, Acosta had the show shift gears to “a very important issue that's near and dear to our hearts here at CNN” as “more than 300 newspapers across the country banded together today in support of the free press.” 

 

 

That point alone was pants-on-fire false. The only reason this campaign existed was because the President had labeled the press the “enemy of the people” and “the opposition party.”

Flaunting a collage of newspaper editorial headlines, Acosta dropped one of the biggest whoppers he’s ever uttered: “You know, we don't want to navel gaze too much here, but obviously, you know, our job is to hold this administration — every administration accountable.”

Acosta expressed dismay with one of the President’s tweets denouncing the editorial campaign, so he went to fellow lefty journalist Ron Brownstein from The Atlantic

Once again, Ron, I go back to, you know, we’re not supposed to be shocked but on a day when the media banding together, the press is banding, newspapers are banding together and saying that the press is not the enemy of the people, the president responds in that way. 

Brownstein responded with spine-cringing self-affection for the press and trademark behavior from the media in treating the First Amendment as if it only concerns them:

Well, the point of the freedom of the press is not only for people who own a press. It is really for every American to be able to speak their mind and you know, we’ve kind of seen not only the tweet, but the actual action, you know, at John Brennan, which is kind of aimed at a different way of threatening that — that freedom of speech. 

Considering John Brennan was still able to appear on MSNBC and pen an piece for The New York Times about having his clearance revoked, Brennan sure seems to have quite the leeway if his freedom of speech is in jeopardy.

Seemingly forgetting about the divides already in place and the role the media have played, Brownstein continued (click “expand” to read more):

I mean, the scary thing is that the nature of the Trump presidency is to widen every divide in American life. There's no doubt, no question there are a lot of doubts growing in some quarters about the press and that we are kind of retreating. It's difficult for any institution to have equal credibility across the red/blue divide, not only in the press but really institution and society. But we’ve have not had — so, that long predates Donald Trump. The difference is we have not had a President who has viewed it as central to his political strategy to exacerbate those divides, in effect to encourage one section of America to view the other as an enemy....[W]e are in for some very rocky roads and some very kind of high waves.

Later and after discussing another topic, Acosta returned to these anti-Trump editorials:

But also, at the same time, highlight what is happening across the country today. Newspapers across the country, news organizations across the country banding together in support of a free press and against these attacks on the news media. We're not the enemy of the people.

Journalists might claim that they’re open to criticism, but the reality is they’re only okay if it’s coming from a friendly source and their goal in the Trump era is to remove this President from office.

Sadly, Thursday ended with the news media and the rest of the public no less close to an agreement than when the day started. There’s zero room for debate about whether a free press is essential for a free society.

But what most journalists have done within the last few decades is pass themselves off as if they’re the Avengers acting as the last line of defense for our cherished freedoms. In the end, it’s on all of us (and not a few) to uphold the Constitution.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s The Situation Room on August 16, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Situation Room
August 16, 2018
6:38 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New Tonight; 300+ Newspapers Team Up to Respond to Trump Attacks on Media]

JIM ACOSTA: Let me ask you this, Ron Brownstein, David, if you want to chime in. This is a very important issue that's near and dear to our hearts here at CNN. More than 300 newspapers across the country banded together today in support of the free press. There are headlines on screen right there. You know, we don't want to naval gaze too much here, but obviously, you know, our job is to hold this administration — every administration accountable. But the President responded on a day such as this with this tweet: “THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country....BUT WE ARE WINNING!” Once again, Ron, I go back to, you know, we’re not supposed to be shocked but on a day when the media banding together, the press is banding, newspapers are banding together and saying that the press is not the enemy of the people, the president responds in that way. 

RON BROWNSTEIN: Well, the point of the freedom of the press is not only for people who own a press. It is really for every American to be able to speak their mind and you know, we’ve kind of seen not only the tweet, but the actual action, you know, at John Brennan, which is kind of aimed at a different way of threatening that — that freedom of speech. I mean, the scary thing is that the nature of the Trump presidency is to widen every divide in American life. There's no doubt, no question there are a lot of doubts growing in some quarters about the press and that we are kind of retreating. It's difficult for any institution to have equal credibility across the red/blue divide, not only in the press but really institution and society. But we’ve have not had — so, that long predates Donald Trump. The difference is we have not had a President who has viewed it as central to his political strategy to exacerbate those divides, in effect to encourage one section of America to view the other as an enemy. 

ACOSTA: And David —

BROWNSTEIN: And as I said, in some ways he's running as a war-time president, as the president of red America against blue America and against any institution that he can portray as a threat not only to him but to his voters and so we are in for some very rocky roads and some very kind of high waves.

ACOSTA: And, David, this is a bit of a controversy in the Democratic Party right now with people calling for Nancy Pelosi not to run for Speaker if Democrats take control of the House. I want to correct something I said earlier to Congressman Ted Lieu. Jim Clyburn, one of Pelosi’s deputies, said he was willing to run if she stepped down. He's not calling for her to step down. I wanted to make that point, but still a rare statement fro Jim Clyburn on one of his key deputies — one of Nancy Pelosi's key deputies. What do you make of that because it’s very important.

DAVID CHALIAN: Jim Clyburn could have said to The New York Times “I stand with Nancy Pelosi” the way Ted Lieu said you and “I — she has my full support.” He didn’t choose to say that. What Jim Clyburn chose to say was if the opportunity presents itself, he's going to be there to seize it. That’s a very different statement. Yes, you’re absolutely right to correct. He has not called for her to step down. That would far more dramatic, but just reading his quotes of what he has said so far about this indicates that he is open to the notion that a scenario exist where she doesn’t get 218 votes, doesn't have the full backing of the caucus and perhaps he would step in from, as you noted, one of her closest deputies, I'm sure those were not welcome words in Leader Pelosi’s office.

ACOSTA: Alright, very good. I wanted to make sure we corrected that. But also, at the same time, highlight what is happening across the country today. Newspapers across the country, news organizations across the country banding together in support of a free press and against these attacks on the news media. We're not the enemy of the people.


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NBDaily Jim Acosta Ron Brownstein Donald Trump
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