It began at the Trump Rally this past Tuesday in Tampa. I was covering the rally as part of the press corps for News Talk Florida. A sizable crowd was on hand and, as is customary, the attendees and media had to wait for a couple of hours for President Trump to take the podium. To fill the time, news reporters wrote their columns and the television media made brief on-air reports, including Jim Acosta of CNN, a well known adversary to this administration.
Seeing Mr. Acosta begin to make his live report, the crowd turned around towards the camera, waved their Trump signs and began to chant “CNN sucks” as well as “USA” and “Trump.” As more people began to notice what was going on, they joined in and their voices grew louder and louder. So much so, Mr. Acosta was forced to curtail his report. This happened not just once, but at least two times.
The next day, the White House correspondent was interviewed on CNN and was visibly upset with the heckling in Tampa, whining, “It felt like we weren’t in America anymore,” and portrayed himself as a victim.
Some reports claimed President Trump had instigated the verbal attack on Mr. Acosta. This is simply not true as it happened long before Mr. Trump took the stage.
He also claimed the media worried about their safety. Frankly, the only person singled out by the crowd was Mr. Acosta during his report. Nobody cared about him when the camera was turned off. No other member of the media was addressed, other than a member of the press asking an attendee a question.
This is evidently a common occurrence with Mr. Acosta as it has happened at other events. Bottom-line, the Trump supporters know who Mr. Acosta is and are acutely aware of his adversarial relationship with the president, which they do not appreciate.
Pursuant to this, in Thursday’s press conference, Mr. Acosta persisted in asking the press secretary, Sarah Sanders, if the Trump administration considered the media, “The enemy of the people.” Although she dodged the question, she claimed to be offended by the attacks by the press on her personally.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter issued a statement that, No, she didn’t consider the media as an enemy of the people. This caused President Trump to Tweet on Thursday, “They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!”
It is no secret the public no longer trusts the media, reaching incredible lows. Republicans and independents generally regard it as an organ of the Democrats.
When there is any push back to a story in the press, particularly by the president, they claim foul. Ever since the beginning of his candidacy, Mr. Trump knew he wasn’t liked by the press, which is typical for most Republican presidents. Unlike his predecessors though who simply took the abuse, Mr. Trump is not afraid to return fire which annoys the press to no end, claiming he is being “unpresidential.” He refutes this comment by saying, “It is a lot easier to act presidential than to do what I do,” a reference to his results orientation.
Sitting there as a member of the press, I was asked my opinions on various subjects. Inevitably, the first question asked was, “Are you with CNN?” After I assured them I was not, they asked some rather interesting questions about the media and politics in general.
Basically, I think CNN’s Jim Acosta is getting a small taste of his own medicine, and certainly doesn’t like it. Somehow he believes he should be exempted from criticism. The heckling he receives at the Trump rallies is a result of his own doing. He has gone out of his way to irritate the administration and certainly doesn’t come across as “fair and balanced.” Supporters of the president recognize this and treats him accordingly.
Somehow I am reminded of the old saying, “If you cannot stand the heat…”
Keep the Faith!
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