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Articles > Politics November, 30, 2018

Trump vs the Media: A Response

Oliver Patrick
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I am by no means a journalism expert, but I have never seen anyone act like Jim Acosta did in Trump’s recent press conference. Why should he be treated differently because of who he was talking to?

This is a response to a previous article, check it out here!

If you watch a full video of the journalist’s interaction with the US President, he asks his one question and then proceeds to repeatedly ask more and more. No one seems to be questioning why Acosta thinks it’s acceptable to bombard Trump with question after question, especially considering there are many other journalists in the same room waiting for their turn to speak.

Even if CNN is one of the larger news outlets in the US, Acosta was still just being rude to the other journalists, as well as the President of his own country. I know Trump was trying to get the last word in, but Acosta also interrupted the other journalist who was trying to speak after him.

If you compare Acosta’s performance to other press conferences, which see questions asked by various outlets — like press conferences in sports, Theresa May’s with Kenyan President Uhuru, or even President Obama’s first press conference — the approach was different. For example, Trump’s press conference was an open forum, so journalists were free to ask Trump whichever questions they wanted to. This suggests a need for clearer rules or better coordination in order to prevent a journalist acting in a poor manner again.

In Formula 1 post-race press conferences, there is also better control over who is asking questions. From around 9 minutes onward, questions can openly be asked, but unlike Trump’s open forum, there is someone coordinating the questions, there is no shouting, and journalists raise their hands in order to gain the press officer’s attention. I found the following article interesting as it suggests that there is a lack of protocol and/or order for White House press conferences which could perhaps be improved upon in future: https://thehill.com/homenews/media/418152-guardian-reporter-no-one-has-agreed-to-new-white-house-rules-for-reporters.

In all honesty, I suspect that so many people are flocking to defend and support Acosta because this altercation involved Donald Trump, reinforcing his perception as the tyrannical, oppressive ruler of the White House. Perhaps it’s just because of who I am as a person, but I disliked the anti-Trump bandwagon that emerged years ago; I disliked the hypocrisy expressed by some who jumped aboard, and I disliked that Hilary Clinton was looked upon so favourably just because of who she was running against. I try to hold people to the same standards as much as possible, and therefore wonder whether removing Acosta’s press pass wouldn’t have been so frowned-upon if Acosta had acted similarly towards Obama.

I imagine this article will be looked upon negatively because of its criticism of Acosta, but I hope you take what I’ve said into consideration and try to look beyond public perception.

Don’t just choose the most popular opinion because it’s what everyone else thinks

 

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