So, the day after the US midterms CNN’s high profile political correspondent Jim Acosta was asking the president of the United States about his campaign-long claims that the migrant caravan from Central America which is about 1000 miles from the US border is a threat to the nation.
And Trump dismissed the question, refused to answer a follow up, and once Acosta no longer had the microphone declared that he and his network were enemies of the people.
That looked a bit… well, you know, Soviet-y.
But then there was a twist! Acosta’s White House press credentials were pulled, according to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as punishment not for his impertinence in asking a question at a press conference, but for “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job”.
President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern…
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
Video of the entire interaction – in which said intern attempted to take the microphone off Acosta, and which he firmly but un-assaultingly hung onto – exists, complete with Acosta saying “pardon me, ma’am” and the aide sitting down again – and would seem to disprove the claim that he was in any way violent.
Except if you’re on Twitter where Trump supporters are already claiming it proves that Acosta assaulted the young lady and that, if anything, there should be legal consequences.
Judge for yourself:
BREAKING: White House aide grabs and tries to physically remove a microphone from CNN Correspondent Jim Acosta during a contentious exchange with President Trump at a news conference. pic.twitter.com/fFm7wclFw2
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 7, 2018
Of course, if this was a sane and reasonable epoch we would find ludicrous the very idea that a man who boasted about grabbing women’s crotches would be up in arms about a male reporter refusing to let go of a microphone.
After all, if he was super-sincerely concerned about the safety of women, he might not be so gung-ho about overturning the laws guaranteeing safe and legal termination services, for one thing.
In other words: in the unlikely event you still harboured any hope that maybe yesterday’s results would lead to some move toward healing the partisan divide within the United States, you might want to put that gently euthanise that hope now.
You know, like the rest of us did a while ago.