Yesterday, the White House suspended the press credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta after he had a confrontation with President Donald Trump during what was likely the most ridiculous press conference in presidential history. The revocation of his credentials was allegedly based on a false allegation that Acosta inappropriately touched the White House intern who trying to take back the microphone the reporter was using. Let’s be very clear about what really happened here. Trump called on Acosta because he wanted to provoke a fight with someone his base loathes, and he knew that the grandstanding Acosta would be happy to play his role in this mutually-contrived confrontation because it would be good for his brand. As Shakespeare famously wrote, “All the world is a stage, and all the men and women are merely players.” Everyone involved got pretty much exactly what they wanted. I would even be willing to Continue reading "Media Needs to Take Some Responsibility for Why Republicans Won’t Rush to Jim Acosta’s Cause"
Yesterday was apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back. CNN reporter Jim Acosta had his press credentials pulled after his latest battle with President Donald Trump. Their heated exchange began when Acosta pressed Trump about calling the migrant caravan an “invasion” leading up to the midterms as well as the controversial ad his campaign released that was yanked by various networks. But as the president wanted to move on to other reporters, Acosta attempted to squeeze in a third question about the Russia investigation and while doing so got into a physical altercation with a female White House intern as he refused to hand over the microphone. It’s extremely difficult for Acosta to portray himself as the victim here. Acosta was given almost a minute and a half of Trump’s undivided attention and instead of asking good questions chose to debate him yet again about policy. That wasn’t good Continue reading "Jim Acosta is No Martyr, He Deserved To Lose His Press Credentials"
Let’s stipulate that President Donald Trump’s bizarre and hyper-combative marathon press conference was an embarrassment for our country and a degradation of his office. In a rational world, Trump’s narcissistic and infantile display of deceitful delusion would have repercussions because his own party would condemn him and a significant majority of the American public would repudiate his behavior. However, after witnessing this kind of show repeatedly in the last three years of the national nightmare that is having to pretend Donald Trump is of legitimate presidential timbre, we know that of this is unlikely to be the case. Instead today’s ridiculous press conference further proved that the media seems to not understand (or care?) that the definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing over and over, all while expecting a different result. The primary “result” of this press conference was that Trump mostly, though not Continue reading "The Undisciplined Media Unwittingly Helped a Wounded Trump During His Bizarre Press Conference"
Some parts of America may be progressive. Some demographic groups may be progressive. And maybe as time passes and the Baby Boomers leave the scene, things will change. But right now, a full-throated, undiluted progressive approach to politics can’t command mainstream support, even in blue states. It’s not just the defeats of Andrew Gillum, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and Stacey Abrams. There were strong progressives running for governor in Maryland and Arizona, and in congressional districts from New York to California, who also went down to defeat — dashing the hopes of many in the Democratic base. Ballot measures tell a similar story. In Washington state, a proposal for the nation’s first carbon tax — proudly dubbed “the New Green Deal” — got smashed, 56-44. In Arizona, a clean energy measure that would have forced power companies to get half their energy from renewable sources (like, say, the sun) Continue reading "Midterm Elections Show United States is Not a Progressive Country"
We live in an era where, thanks to hyper media fragmentation, everyone can, and usually does, cherry pick data to support nearly any narrative that they always wanted to believe in the first place. It is a world where political figures rarely ever have to admit defeat because there is almost always something, real or imagined, on which they can make a claim of victory. In this context, the 2018 midterms look like they are going to be a perfect metaphor for our fractured times. The results are a Rorschach test where almost any political group can see something positive, while also conveniently ignoring lots of very negative information. Sure enough, everyone from President Donald Trump and Sean Hannity, to Nancy Pelosi and Van Jones have already declared that their side won. But this phenomenon goes far deeper than just Republicans celebrating gains in the Senate and Democrats relishing Continue reading "How Nearly Every Political Group Both Won and Lost in the Midterms"
CNN is frequently criticized from the right, and particularly by the president, over their reporting on his presidency and about him personally. In particular, reporter Jim Acosta has been a loud and avowed anti-Trump voice, and has taken a great deal of heat for it. One might expect that would lead to his being especially sensitive to things that might reinforce the specter of bias hanging over his head. But one would not be correct, as the chyron above shows. That’s from CNN on Tuesday, as Acosta reported from the site of Monday’s Trump rally during Wolf Blitzer‘s show. It says in part, “President Trump uses fear and falsehoods to send his own message.” No doubt most of the liberal media would here object that this is merely a fact, without bias or partisan interpretation, and that it’s no secret even among Republicans. But that would be wrong. Continue reading "CNN Chyron Crosses Line Into Advocacy: ‘President Uses Fear and Falsehoods’ to Send Message"
Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live mocked the appearance of a former Navy SEAL who lost his right eye from an IED attack in Afghanistan. During a segment on “Weekend Update,” Pete Davidson offered his “first impressions” of some politicians (mostly Republicans, obviously) running in the 2018 midterms. He said Florida Governor and Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott looked like someone tried to “whittle Bruce Willis out of a penis” and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) looked like if a “cigar came to life.” His jab at Texas congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw that was not only unfunny, but cruel as well. “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie,” Davidson giggled as he read the joke from the cue card.”I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever.” Apparently, a veteran who Continue reading "Dan Crenshaw Reminds Us That Pete Davidson, SNL Shouldn’t Apologize For Their Gross Mockery of Him"