- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 1, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

CNN’s Jim Acosta posted a video to his Twitter account showing the vitriolic hostile greeting he received at President Trump’s rally in Tamp Tuesday evening. 

Accompanying the video was Acosta’s personal concern that the anger he witnessed could result in “somebody getting hurt.” 

“Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa,” The Tweet read.  “I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy. “

What Mr. Acosta doesn’t understand is that the anger and hostility and loathing he sees on the faces of  Trump supporters in his video is a reflection of the same hostility they see on the faces of anchors, reporters, and analysts on his network. 

Night after night for years… decades, CNN has talked down to, belittled and ignored a wide swath of American voters. The condescending contempt reached a boiling point in the 2016 election when voters defied their betters and voted for the man CNN proclaimed to be unworthy of the American presidency. 

On a nightly basis throughout the election, the network pummeled the small handful of pro-Trump pundits they featured. 

Show after show featured Jeffrey Lord, Kayleigh McInerney, or Scottie Nell Hughes on a political panel usually facing off against upwards to seven debaters. The panel would be comprised of pro-Hillary Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans shouting-down the lone pro-Trump pundit. 

With grace and patience Lord, Mcinerney, and Hughes gritted their teeth and endured personal insults, patronizing ridicule, and vile epithets. All the while, viewers saw these pundits as vessels representing their interests and their views. 

It was not a fair fight and CNN, represented by their hosts and anchors, seemed to love it.

When voters finally had their voices heard at the ballot box, what was CNN’s response? Were they chagrined and humbled? Did they concede that maybe they got it wrong and maybe there was some disconnect between their worldview and that of the viewers they were trying to reach?

Hardly. CNN has redoubled their efforts in attacking Trump, his surrogates and, by extension, the voters who support him. 

When Jim Acosta looks out at the anger in the crowd at a Trump rally, he sees the faces of frustration and exasperation in his audience that has left his network. He sees the forgotten viewers who he never has the benefit of connecting with when he looks into the robotic lens of a television camera equipped with a prompter feeding him his lines. 

The anger has not been “whipped up by Trump” it has festered and grown over decades and was finally whipped up by Anderson and Wolf and Jake and Jim, himself. The team at CNN always gets the last word (not to mention the first word) and they always get to set the agenda. 

The people staring back at Acosta with contempt have no voice on their network. Their voices are not just silenced, they are propped up as strawmen and summarily burned to a char by the same people who insulted them and ignored them all through the election. 

The one opportunity they get to be seen and heard on CNN is when they shout at Acosta and his colleagues perched on an elevated platform at a Trump rally. Like groundlings yelling at the upper-class in a raucous production at the Globe theatre, Trump supporters finally have their chance to let the media finally hear their frustration with their product. 

And, true to form, rather than employing a little introspection, Acosta lashes out. Rather than saying to himself “why do they loathe me so much?” Acosta warns that “somebody” will soon get hurt and, oh, by the way, it will be all Trump’s fault. 

Well Jim, “somebody’s” already been hurt in violent political attacks in America. His name is Rep. Steve Scalise. He’s a Republican politician. He and his GOP colleagues were gunned down last year while practicing for a baseball game. They were stalked and hunted down by a leftist nut who targeted them because they were Republicans. 

In retrospect, one could argue this maniac’s violent hatred was “whipped up” by media outlets comparing Republicans to Nazis. But that would be morally problematic. 

To make that argument in advance of an anticipated act of violence is reprehensible and disgusting. Acosta is saying that not only are these stupid rubes gullible enough to vote for and support Trump, they’re also one speech away from violently attacking an innocent journalist at the president’s command. 

At some point, CNN needs to examine how they approach each day’s news cycle and how they communicate with the American people. They should start by addressing their on-air talent and how they project themselves to their audience and their former audience. 

I suggest they begin this process alphabetically. 


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