There have been times in the history of the nation when members of the press were honored for the hard work they had carried out in service to the American public. At such times, deserving individuals were rewarded for their tenacity in keeping the people informed. This is not one of those moments.
In the latest episode of “This Is Why Nobody Trusts the Media,” the New York Press Club (NYPC) announced the recipient of their 2019 “Truth to Power” award. The prize is designed to single out “an individual whose body of work challenges the power establishment and/or defends journalists.” One would expect the club to select a journalist who is dedicated to safeguarding the sanctity of the First Amendment while holding the government accountable.
Instead, they picked CNN’s Jim Acosta.
Jim Acosta to Receive Award
In a recent press release, Jane Tillman Irving, president of the NYPC wrote, “We are proud to honor a man such as Jim Acosta, who has proven himself throughout his storied, decades-long career to be a journalist of the utmost integrity.” Please refrain from laughing until you have finished reading this article. Irving went on to laud Acosta for his “unwavering commitment to fact and journalism.”
Acosta is known for his grandstanding during press conferences, his adversarial relationship with President Trump, and posting whiny tweets that resemble the journal entries of heartbroken teenage girls. But is he truly deserving of this award? Perhaps it depends on how you see today’s establishment media.
Over the past two years, Acosta has become the face of CNN’s ongoing smear campaign against President Trump. At press conferences, he has stepped over other reporters’ questions to browbeat Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and the president himself.
When President Trump attended his first summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Acosta could not resist the opportunity to grab the spotlight. As the two leaders emerged from the conference, the CNN correspondent repeatedly peppered them with questions about the results of the meeting, even though they would later hold a press conference to address those questions. Even as they sat for a photo op, he proceeded to yell out questions at both Trump and Kim. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is CNN.
During one White House press conference, Acosta refused to hand over his microphone when it was another journalist’s turn to ask a question. Many on the right have pilloried Acosta for his behavior, but even other journalists on the left have complained about him. Al Tompkins, a faculty member of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, wrote a piece rebuking the reporter after he refused to give up the microphone. “Jim Acosta’s encounter Wednesday at a White House press conference was less about asking questions and more about making statements,” Tompkins wrote. “This was a White House event and he was talking to the president of the United States. A briefing is not the same as a cable news wrestling match, where sides shout at each other.”
A Worthy Recipient?
So that brings us back to the original question: Does Acosta deserve this award? If the establishment media were interested in hard-hitting reporting designed to keep the American public aware of the issues of the day, it is clear that CNN’s White House correspondent has no business winning such an honor.
But it’s long been clear that keeping the population informed is no longer the objective. Instead, most of the nation’s major news outlets function as propaganda mills designed to promote a progressive political agenda. The bias has become so prevalent that it has become nearly impossible to tell the difference between attempts at straight reporting and commentary. A media machine such as this relies on the type of journalist who wishes to influence viewers instead of delivering the news. Since this is the case, it is difficult to find another journalist who deserves this award more than Jim Acosta. At least he’s good at something!