The latest fireworks in Washington are over the Trump White House suspending CNN's Jim Acosta's press pass. Never a dull moment with Trump in the White House—and I'm sure this is a big part of his appeal. The importance of the entertainment value of politics is vastly underrated, Trump understands this; Rob Ford understood it.
The stated reason for pulling Acosta's press pass is that he manhandled a young intern. I'm dubious about that; the contact looked trivial and unintentional. But he should have been suspended in any case for refusing to yield the microphone after his question.
And he should have been suspended for the original question. Here's an attempted transcript:
Acosta: “I challenge you on one of your statements. … That this caravan was an invasion. As you know, Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion.... Why did you characterize it as such?”
This is not a question. It is, as stated, a challenge. What possible information can it elicit? He then interrupted Trump during his answer, and argued back. Hardly a journalist seeking the news.
And it is not even honest as a debating point. It is along the lines of “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Invasion; Oxford English Dictionary: “An incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere of activity.” “An unwelcome intrusion into another's domain.” Acosta is either dishonest or illiterate.
Rather, he is obviously dishonest, and perhaps also illiterate. And he is doing an incompetent job as a journalist: not asking useful questions, and making himself the story instead of getting a story. Something any idiot can do.
The mystery is not that his press pass was lifted; the mystery is that he has a job.