November 9, 2018

Jim Acosta Suspended from WH

In honor of Veterans Day, we'll be taking a brief hiatus. We'll be back in full swing Wednesday (new glasses and all)!

“The White House on Wednesday suspended the press pass of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta after he and President Donald Trump had a heated confrontation during a news conference.”

AP News

Following the incident, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted, “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern…”


She later tweeted a video which many argue exaggerated Acosta’s motion, making it appear more aggressive. According to Politifact, “No expert we spoke to found evidence the video was intentionally sped up or slowed down. Instead, they found the quality and clarity of the original video was watered down, ultimately obfuscating what actually happened... it seems likely that the video was distorted as it made its way to the Internet in the form of a GIF and then back to video.”

Twitter, Politifact

See past issues

From the Left

The left believes it is wrong to take away Acosta’s credentials, and that Sarah Sanders is stoking the flames by making false accusations.

“In suspending Mr. Acosta’s press credential, Mr. Trump signaled that in his view, asking hard questions — the most basic function of a reporter — disqualifies journalists from attending White House briefings... [That] Sarah Huckabee Sanders would then use the demonstrably false claim that Mr. Acosta had laid ‘his hands on a young woman’ as a pretext to throw him out compounds the cynicism."

New York Times

“This accusation of assault... is an insult to real victims of harassment and assault. But from a White House whose President has in the past admitted ‘grabbing’ women in a sexual manner, whose record on misogyny is so poor, and who only last month praised a Republican candidate for body-slamming a reporter, it is breathtakingly hypocritical."


“Sanders is cleverly compelling progressives to prop up a Republican talking point: False allegations exist, and people will pay attention to them. When Acosta’s defenders cry out against Sanders, she can cry right back that the liberals are the ones who always insist on believing women...

“Reporters are forced to defend both their reporting on abuse allegations and their colleague who Sanders alleges is himself an abuser... This is the surest way to wage a war against the press.”

Washington Post

Lastly, “it’s unfair to the young female intern who is being thrust into this political maelstrom. As far as we know, she hasn’t accused anybody of anything. It appears that the White House is using her for its own political ends.”

The Atlantic

Trump's “goal, it seems, is to put so much pressure on Tehran that it has no choice but to completely change its behavior — but he could end up leading the countries to the brink of war in the process… Now is typically the time when cooler heads prevail, but it’s unclear if there are cooler heads around… It’s hard to overstate how avoidable this situation was.”
Alex Ward, Vox

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right argues that the revocation is justified due to Acosta’s disrespectful behavior.

From the Right

The right argues that the revocation is justified due to Acosta’s disrespectful behavior.

“White House press credentials are not a universal right. There are implicit expectations of proper behavior, and the White House decision to suspend Acosta’s credential is warranted… try to imagine Acosta and his ilk behaving in similarly hostile fashion toward Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Keep trying, but you can’t imagine it because it never happened... Even when skeptical, they were respectful."

New York Post

Brit Hume tweeted, “A presidential press conference, no matter who is president, is a forum to ask questions as tough as you like, but don’t argue. And you get one chance, maybe one followup. Your colleagues are waiting their turns. Show them some respect and the president. It’s not about you."


“As soon as the intern made an attempt to take the mic, it was Mr. Acosta’s role to give it up... To be bold is fine. Rudeness is okay. It can be an effective strategy with a news maker. Physical tussles over mics are not. Such behavior is unnecessary theater with no goal other than self aggrandizement."

Daily Caller

“Trump may be unusually and publicly disdainful of the press, but members of the press should not allow themselves to be dragged into needless bickering with him...

“Acosta’s approach resulted in the story being about Acosta, not anything the Trump had to answer for about the migrant caravan or the Russia investigation. And that only serves Acosta, not the people who depend on him for the news.”

The Blaze

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

This donkey and emu are deeply in love, and they need a home together.

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