Jim Acosta pounces and seizes on Trump comment that Democrats are “anti-Israel,” “anti-Jewish” party
Argues with Sarah Sanders during press briefing.
CNN‘s Jim Acosta is nothing if not predictable.
In the middle of the Democratic party infighting caused by the anti-Semitic rhetoric we’ve heard from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in recent weeks, Acosta saw fit not to question the comments themselves, but instead President Trump’s grim assessment of the Democratic party’s relationship with the Jewish community.
First, here’s what Trump said last Friday:
— The Hill (@thehill) March 9, 2019
Also, according to Axios, Trump reportedly told a group of donors at private fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago Friday that “Democrats hate Jewish people.”
Fox News reported on the tense exchange that occurred Monday between Acosta and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders over Trump’s remarks:
“Do you think that the president has thought, at all, going into the 2020 campaign that the rhetoric just needs to be lowered? Whether it’s talking about Democrats, the media, immigrants, or should we just plan on hearing the president use the same kind of language that we heard in 2016 and all through the first couple years of this administration?” Acosta asked.
Sanders responded that it’s a shame Democrats won’t come together and condemn anti-Semitic remarks.
“I think that is a great shame,” Sanders said. “The president has been clear on what his position is, certainly what his support is for the people and the community of Israel.”
Acosta then asked if it “drags down the rhetoric of a debate” when someone says something that is “patently untrue.” Sanders tried to answer, and the CNN correspondent continued to talk over her.
“Democrats don’t hate Jewish people, that’s just silly,” Acosta said. “It’s not true.”
Sanders told Acosta that Democrats should call out their members by name if they don’t want to be aligned with anti-Semitic rhetoric. Acosta tried to respond, but Sanders cut him off.
Watch video of their back and forth below:
CNN's @Acosta goes to bat for Democrats, says it's "patently untrue" members of the party are anti-Semitic.
"Democrats don't hate Jewish people. That's silly. Not true." pic.twitter.com/B3pmxIDBHe
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 11, 2019
But he wasn’t done.
Later that day in a segment with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, Acosta said Trump was “largely responsible for this driving down of our political discourse.” He continued:
We are in for probably, it’s astonishing I think to say this and to hear it and so on, but we’re in for the nastiest campaign we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes coming up in 2020 and I wanted to ask, you know, whether or not the President plans on tamping down the rhetoric because, as we all know, you know, he is — he is largely responsible for this driving down of our political discourse. You know, going out and making speeches saying Democrats are hating Jewish people. I mean, that just goes to pushing people’s buttons in ways that you know the President of the United States really shouldn’t be engaged in doing.
I’m not really sure what to be most upset with here:
1) The fact Acosta is using his credentials as a straight-news White House correspondent to spout off political opinions during press briefings (and elsewhere).
2) That he’s deliberately ignoring the Democratic party’s bitter divisions on the issue of anti-Semitism, and worse yet how the anti-Semitic wing seems to be winning out.
3. His complete cluelessness on how bad the breakdown in our political discourse has become over the last several decades. Trump’s election happened, in part, because Republicans felt party leaders had been too nice to both Democrats and their mainstream media allies (like Acosta) who have treated them with such outright contempt in the past.
If Acosta wants to pretend anti-Semitism hasn’t taken firm root in the Democratic party, then maybe he should talk to the Jewish Democratic members of Congress who have openly expressed serious concerns over why their party refused to call out Rep. Omar by name, but eagerly did so with Rep. Steve King (R-IA).
Maybe he should wonder why Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), a defender of Omar’s (and Michigan’s Rep. Tlaib for that matter), formed a political alliance with anti-Semitic British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn earlier this year.
Maybe he should read up on the history of anti-Semitic tropes like the ones used by Omar and Tlaib and why they have no place whatsoever in a civilized society, much less be uttered by members of Congress.
If Acosta wants to continue to rattle off his ill-informed left wing opinions, then CNN needs to give him his own evening show a la Anderson Cooper and be done with it. That’s where his opinion journalism belongs anyway.
Enough is enough.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter.–DONATE
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