Thursday, November 08, 2018

Heckler Acosta no longer welcome to Trump's house

When I was a kid, and even as recently as 20 years ago or so, I considered CNN to be a rather impressive brand. It had to be better than many other news outlets. Times have changed a lot.

Jim Acosta still calls himself a "CNN White House Correspondent" on his Twitter account – which I consider a fraudulent description because of the outcome of the story I am going to remind you of (he is no longer capable of "corresponding" with someone on the White House side). Fine, during the press conference, Jim Acosta started his "question" by the statement "I want to challenge you".

If you think about it, it is already a problem. Everyone can say whatever he wants. Still, the press conference in the White House isn't a generic point of the spacetime where generic people speak. It is supposed to serve a purpose. The main purpose of the pressers is simple: The journalists are supposed to ask questions and the president is expected to answer them.

If a man wants to "challenge" the president, it's OK. But in that case, he should probably collect some political support and run for the president in 2020 or something like that. Or he should participate at a debate with the president if there is one – if the president agrees with that. However, that wasn't what we were seeing. He wanted to "challenge the president" during a press conference, thus denying the actual purpose of the press conference.

Acosta "challenged" Trump by asking him the question of the type: "How dared you call the caravan an invasion?" And Trump answered it: "It obeys my definitions for an invasion, we may have different opinions what the word means." Again, if you think about it, it is a polite and basically complete answer to the question.

Now, Acosta responded by "As you know, it was not an invasion." What? If Acosta were honest and had the IQ above 100, he would know that on the contrary, the "president doesn't know it wasn't an invasion". Instead, all the data indicates that the "president knows that it was an invasion". While saying "as you know it wasn't an invasion", Acosta actually wanted to say something completely different: "As you know, we we will harass you because we labeled it politically incorrect to say that it was an invasion." This is what Acosta meant and his claim that "the president knows it wasn't an invasion" is just an intentional lie. It is very clear that the actual goal of Acosta's rhetorical exercises is to bully the people who think it is an invasion.

But you know, while you may ask questions and expect an answer, you don't have the power to demand a particular answer from the president. You just cannot impose your opinion on the president, not even if 90% of other journalists in similar media agree with you.

Dictionary definitions of invasions usually say that it is the mass arrival of a military force to a territory that is supposed to be controlled by another one. If the illegal migrants don't have weapons or any official task to fight, we should say that they are not a military. In a normal world, we wouldn't call their arrival an invasion – there is no potential fighting involved. So the word invasion is being used in a generalized sense, as a hyperbola of a sort. But be sure that most people in my country find the word appropriate.

On top of that, something else wouldn't happen in a normal world. These people wouldn't be allowed to cross the borders, without the appropriate process and paperwork. In normal times, such violators could be shot at. Once they would be shot at, their efforts would immediately get a violent dimension and if they fought back, the word invasion would become self-evidently appropriate.

It means that if we agree that the word "invasion" is an exaggerated metaphor, it is primarily because the countries are behaving inappropriately peacefully towards illegal immigrants. The goal of Acosta's non-question was to scream at Donald Trump – and more generally, cause problems to all Americans who agree with Trump and call it an invasion – by which they mostly mean that a healthy country should defend itself against such things, much like it defends itself against "indisputable" invasions. Sorry but Trump and others surely have all the rights to call it an invasion; and to think that their country should defend itself against it. It is a mass arrival of foreigners who don't respect the rules and who make the original population feel vulnerable. It is an invasion of a certain kind and if a Mr Acosta doesn't like it, it is his problem, not the problem of the users of the word "invasion". The previous sentence follows from the basic tenets of the Western civilization – the freedom of speech, the ability of the people to influence the politics, and sovereignty of countries.

Journalists have the limit of two questions. Acosta really depleted the limit once he asked his second question, whether the word "invasion" demonizes the migrants. "Not at all," Trump answered, and explained that he believes that the U.S. needs extra people because extra companies are coming to the U.S., but those immigrants must follow the legal process. It was a perfectly appropriate, reasonably long answer to Acosta's second question.

But Acosta continued. The third question: Trump's campaign dared to show migrants climbing walls. Those were absolutely real pictures and Trump said those weren't Hollywood actors. But Acosta made it very clear that as a journalist – a member of an occupation that used to be primarily supposed to inform the public – he wouldn't allow anyone to share the information about migrants climbing walls. Clearly, his ideas about journalism involve the deliberate hiding of critical information. He is a manipulator, not a journalist, and seems proud about it.

Because Acosta's limit of 2 questions were answered and things were getting out of control, Trump tried to stop Acosta's monologue but it turned out to be extremely difficult. Acosta was screaming "questions" – really personal attacks based on nutty conspiracy theories – about Russia investigations, indictments, and other things.

A White House intern, a young lady, was given the task to take the microphone from Acosta so that other journalists may also ask questions. He just didn't want to release the microphone and karate chopped her arm (see e.g. some pictures in this response by Mike Huckabee). If he were conservative and she would be serving for a left-wing president, the media would be full of stories about a conservative reporter who raped a woman during the press conference. But because he is an obnoxious far left heckler trying to steal the White House's microphone and to karate chop the White House staff's arms, none of his dirty left-wing comrades would dare to criticize him.

In fact, there was some comrade of Acosta's – Peter Alexander from NBC. He said that he wanted to defend Acosta. Trump told him that he, Trump, didn't like him, the second reporter, either. ;-) Secret services have stripped Acosta of the permit to enter the White House. It makes complete sense. His bullying behavior is just incompatible with the standard protocol of the White House press conferences. Shockingly enough but perhaps predictably, CNN has defended Acosta.

Most of the people at CNN find this heckler's behavior appropriate because they're pretty much the same kind of creatures. It's a problem and I am sure that this new identity of the media such as the CNN is a serious problem according to very many – perhaps most – Americans and others, too. Meanwhile, almost nothing is left from my respect towards the organizations such as the CNN. They're just bunches of nutty activists who only differ from random mobs on the street by using a slightly fancier language. But even average people can learn to speak in this way – I am just not terribly impressed by that.

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