Potential press boycott might throw Trump over the edge
By: Jim Longworth
Day after day, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stands behind an all-too-familiar podium and proceeds to repeat, justify, and validate the lies that her boss has uttered in the past 24 hours. In doing so, she occasionally makes up new lies of her own. Sanders is a disgrace to the journalism profession, but worse, she is an enabler for a man who, according to New York Times fact checkers, has told over 6,000 lies since taking office.
Like Trump, Sanders continually dodges questions posed to her from the White House press corps, then berates reporters who dare to demand an actual answer. She is rude, arrogant, and seemingly shameless in performing her duties as the presidential shill. Last week, Sanders hit an all-time low.
On the day following our midterm elections, President Trump held a press conference where he continued to brag about his victory the night before.
Sure, Democrats took back control of the Congress and made huge gains in state legislative races, yet somehow the “Emperor With No Clothes” believed he had won. CNN’s Jim Acosta, who has covered the White House for over five years, stood to ask Trump about the fear-mongering T.V. ads that the president had aired which were meant to energize Republican voters. Trump dodged the question, changed the subject, then cut Acosta off. However, the CNN reporter stood his ground and refused to surrender his hand-held microphone in hopes of pressuring the president into giving an honest response. A female White House intern then tried to grab the mic from Acosta, and Jim momentarily moved it out of her reach, before acquiescing. Trump called Acosta a terrible person, then moved on.
Later that night, Acosta showed up at the White House gates to do a live shot for Anderson Cooper’s program, only to have secret service demand that he surrender his press credentials. Sanders, obviously acting on orders from His Majesty, had revoked Acosta’s privileges and the veteran correspondent was denied access to the White House. Why? According to Sanders, it was because Acosta had assaulted the female intern by “placing his hand on her.” The problem is that there was no assault. There was no grabbing, no groping, no screaming or cursing. Acosta’s only crime was trying to get the president of the United States to answer a question that he didn’t want to answer. The assault charge was merely a smokescreen lie that Sanders made up to deflect from her boss’s bad temper, inability to communicate honestly, and his vengeful nature. Many correspondents and other witnesses came forward to refute Sanders’s claim, while the actual video showed that Acosta had no physical contact with the intern. Never mind the truth, this was vintage behavior from the tag team of Trump and Sanders. If someone disagrees with you or challenges you, to tell the truth, you simply attack their character by spreading a false narrative.
For what it’s worth, I’m no fan of Jim Acosta. The man is arrogant, rude, obnoxious, self-absorbed, and disrespectful to the office of the presidency. In fact, if I were in Trump’s place, I would have revoked Acosta’s credentials long ago. However, this isn’t about an overly aggressive T.V. reporter. It’s about an abuse of power, which is likely to continue for at least another two years. So what should the news media do? After all, they have to cover and report on our Commander in Chief, don’t they? Not necessarily.
A free press is essential to our democracy, but that doesn’t mean the news media has to tolerate being lied to and berated every day. Yes, transparency is expected from the executive branch, but if the truth is never forthcoming, then why give coverage to the falsehoods? Donald Trump is the worst kind of narcissist, and he thrives on attention, so my advice to the press corps is, just stop covering him. Don’t videotape him in meetings where his cabinet heaps rehearsed praise upon him. Don’t interview him or any of his staff, and don’t publish any information emanating from the White House. Try the boycott for six months, and I’ll bet that Trump comes completely unglued. Why? Because our president is like a spoiled 5-year-old at the playground who demands that we look at him every time he soars high on the swings, or successfully teeters on the totter. If we ignore him, he will probably throw a tantrum until he tires himself out, then he’ll eventually give up and go home. I don’t think impeachment will ever drive Donald Trump from office, but ignoring him might.
Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).