We’ve already hit peak Acosta today — a photo of Jim Acosta looking approvingly in a mirror at Jim Acosta — but a good piece about CNN’s White House correspondent hit The Atlantic yesterday and it has a lot of readers up arms.
Why? Because the site dared publish a piece by Todd S. Purdum on Acosta’s “dangerous brand of performance journalism.”
Purdum claims that Acosta is speaking truth to power — though it sounds a lot more like shouting to us — but he also adds this:
Stipulate that Sanders traduces the truth each waking or speaking hour. Stipulate, too, that Acosta had just been the object of threatening and abusive taunts at a Trump rally in Florida. Even stipulate, if you wish, that his question was a cri de coeur and not a showy bid for clicks and ratings in the debased ritual of performance art that the White House briefing has become.
But acknowledge this also, please: Whenever a reporter who has not been kidnapped by terrorists, shot by an assailant, or won a big prize becomes an actor in her own story, she has lost the fight. Or in this case, reinforced the corrosive, cynical, and deeply dangerous feedback loop that has convinced Trump’s most fervent supporters that his relentless brief against the press has merit: FAKE NEWS! SAD!
Purdum isn’t dunking on Acosta; he’s just advising him to pump the brakes a little bit so he doesn’t become “another convenient villain” to those shouting “fake news” — which is exactly what he’s become; too late. That didn’t matter to The Atlantic’s followers, though, who thought Acosta was being “attacked.”
Why are you criticizing @Acosta ? You think that he should just sit there and take it? Someone needs to stand up and apparently you won’t
— Ronni (@ronnirowan) August 7, 2018
Go home Todd, you’re drunk.
— bennydiegø ✯ (@bennydiego) August 7, 2018
Fortunately, we're still in the prime age for hot takes, like " diva reporters are the true threat to free press."
— Doug Hanna (@DouHan) August 7, 2018
A POTUS calling The Press “Enemy” is the actual danger.
— Christian Divine (@Chris_divine) August 7, 2018
What is wrong with this writer
— Paula Rogness (@paula_rogness) August 7, 2018
In which a journalist attacks journalist in defense of a fascist regime.
— Tzippy Shmilovitz (@Tzipshmil) August 7, 2018
So sick of people lecturing us on the how the response to facism is the cause of the fascism ???
— Trotskyist (@trotskydc) August 7, 2018
Way to discredit your profession Atlantic.
— Radiant Brow (@taliesinwho) August 7, 2018
This is a terrible take. I assume you also believe women who wear skirts deserve whatever sexual assault might happen to them.
— Kyle (@Kentroyals5) August 7, 2018
It wasn’t a performance he was determined to get a real answer. Enough with the soft shoe Q +A! Journalists are there for us and need to keep pressing for the truth!!!!
— giagia (@giagiasullo) August 7, 2018
— Lee Perry (@likeleeperry) August 7, 2018
haha wow. I used to think the Atlantic was a reliable source … Imagine that, a journalist that doesn't bow down to a dishonest White house. The rest of them should take a page from his book.
— joas (@astralentity) August 7, 2018
Please don’t let Acosta see that tweet — he’ll retweet it an pin it to the top of his page.
The upside of not subscribing to @TheAtlantic is not having to cancel it because of stupidity like this.
— Doc Pickle (@glordiii) August 7, 2018
OK, so maybe Purdum has one backer?
True. Crossover to celebrity culture is killing journalism and reporting.
Egos need to be checked at the door.
Both camps are guilty of this.
— Francis C. Thomas (@FThomasRE) August 7, 2018
He CAN'T help himself! Jim Acosta SOARS to new heights of self-parody [photo] https://t.co/ip3KcGWQj8
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) August 8, 2018