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Let’s Talk About What Happened at the Supreme Court Today

The Atlantic in hot water for piece about Jim Acosta's "dangerous brand of performance journalism"

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.”



Please don’t let Acosta see that tweet — he’ll retweet it an pin it to the top of his page.

OK, so maybe Purdum has one backer?


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