It’s no secret that Donald Trump hates the media. Really, really, really hates the media. Ever since he took office, he and his aides have been in all-out war against the mainstream media.
Trump’s various surrogates have put the media on notice that they should just shut up, since telling the truth actually endangers democracy. They have also warned us that even mildly critical coverage of Trump will be considered fake news. Trump himself has openly called for his staunchest media critics to be sold to interests friendlier to him, and has declared the mainstream media to be “the enemy of the American people.”
Well, the White House war on the media reached another level on Monday, when Trump’s campaign manager demanded that a White House correspondent be stripped of his credentials for–horrors!–actually doing his job.
On Easter morning, Trump tweeted that he was walking away from negotiations to protect the Dreamers.
Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. “Caravans” coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2018
Fast forward to Monday morning, and the 2018 edition of the White House Easter Egg Roll. CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta wanted to get further clarification from Trump about his Easter morning Twitter announcement. Benny Johnson of The Daily Caller got video.
Here’s Jim Acosta yelling at Trump about DACA while the president colors with Barron, Melania & children gathered at the White House pic.twitter.com/JCPsaREe8A
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 2, 2018
When Johnson got back to the office, he preceded to howl at Acosta for daring to ask Trump questions while children were around. Oh, the humanity!
Never mind that Trump has held exactly ONE solo press conference since taking office–on February 16, 2017. Whether it was because nearly everyone believed that shindig was a dumpster fire, or because an NBC News reporter actually called him out on his numerous lies, Trump hasn’t held another press conference since. As I write this on Monday night, Trump has not held another formal press conference in 410 days, by The Washington Post’s count.
Acosta did what any good White House correspondent would do under the circumstances–ask the president questions when he has a chance to do so. But that didn’t sit well with Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for Trump’s 2020 campaign. He fired off a chilling tweet demanding that Acosta lose his credentials.
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) April 2, 2018
Excuse me, Brad? How is simply doing your job grounds for having your credentials yanked? Acosta didn’t sound the least bit belligerent when he asked Trump about the Dreamers. Then again, we’re talking about a president who believes anything less than fawning coverage is fake news.
Acosta decided to give Parscale a little civics lesson.
Just doing my job.. which is protected by the First Amendment of The Constitution. You might want to give it a read. https://t.co/lbUZmxGPJO
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) April 2, 2018
Apparently Parscale wasn’t paying attention.
No, very clearly I think the White House should pull credentials because he yelled questions, as he continues to do at inappropriate times, while the President was coloring books with children. Disrespectful and would have never been allowed previously. https://t.co/pAd40XwCRr
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) April 2, 2018
Perhaps Parscale doesn’t remember that back in 2012, The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro gained infamy when he interrupted President Obama’s Rose Garden remarks announcing the DACA program. Watch here.
Obama had barely started his remarks when Munro started jumping in with questions. Obama displayed almost saintlike patience in the face of this. Munro is very lucky he wasn’t hustled out.
Watch Munro’s exchange with Obama, then listen to Acosta’s questioning of Trump. Who was being more unprofessional?
And yet, even in the face of all of this, there were no demands from the White House or Obama’s re-election campaign to yank Munro’s credentials. Maybe it’s because unlike Trump, Obama actually respects freedom of the press.
It’s not the first time that Acosta has gotten on Trump’s bad side. If you’ll remember, hours after CNN broke the news about the “golden showers” dossier, the then president-elect was so outraged that he refused to let Acosta ask a question, and snarled that his network was “fake news.”
And earlier this year, when Trump brought Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev to the White House, Acosta tried to ask Trump about his “shithole countries” remarks. Trump tried to have him thrown out, and apparently sicced his press staff to get in Acosta’s face when he wouldn’t back down.
In the absence of something we haven’t heard or seen, we have to assume that while Parscale’s thumbs were working, he was actually copying a script from Trump. The mere thought that we have a president who has no respect for a free and critical press should send a chill down the spine of every fair-minded American.
(featured image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license)