Last week rumors made the rounds that Sean Spicer would be moving to a new role off-camera because he “got fatter,” in the inimitable words of gas-bloated corpse Steve Bannon. Whether Spicer finally finds the sweet relief of a life away from the press or not remains to be seen, but the entire administration has proven itself newly camera-averse, recently banning video footage from press briefings. This is an insult to the sort of establishment journalists that rely on these in-person moments for ratings, and also the latest front in the Trump administration’s war on information, further funneling people directly toward their preferred channels of communication and without the qualifying filter of an objective press, no matter how embedded they are.
And, while your blood pressure may be rising as you read this assault on the fourth estate, let it be known that you don’t have shit on CNN’s Jim Acosta, who is fucking lit about this no-cameras stuff! He’s one step away from showing up to work in cargo shorts and sunglasses, drinking liberally from a Gatorade bottle full of an unspecified clear liquid. Here he is at yesterday’s press briefing, pretty much just clapping his hands and howling at the moon at Spicer on this shit:
You can tell how mad he is by the way he keeps saying “Sean” after every question, as if “Sean” were a euphemism for squirrel-fucker, which, to be fair, it may be, by the time Spicer is done sullying the name for Seans everywhere (sorry, Seans). Acosta was on Twitter beforehand letting people know why he was so amped:
These are all extremely valid points! He polished them off with:
To which many people replied: They’re off because you haven’t turned them on, buddy.
JUST TURN THEM ON JIM. Be a rebel. FB live on your phone. DO IT. FOR THE PEOPLE JIM. For journalism. 4th estate. Etc.
— Curtis Døde Aldri (@cebsilver) June 26, 2017
Obviously it’s easier to tell someone to disobey the White House’s direct orders than it is to do it, and the repercussions of doing so, both for the journalist who secretly filmed the press briefing and the organizations that employed them, would probably be an even more firm stonewalling from the Trump administration.
But then, these were always the stakes with Trump, Bannon, and company; as early as January, media scholars were arguing that this administration’s “running war with the press” necessitated a retreat from the sort of cozy, embedded journalism exemplified by the White House press corps. Acosta has every right to be furious as his job is minimized by these no-camera mandates, but he and CNN could also, as one prominent early piece advised, just send the interns to cover the press briefing instead. That’d probably lead to better journalism, and it’d keep Acosta and Spicer separated, which would probably be for the best at this point.
[via The Daily Beast]