By DANNY LAROSE
When CNN’s Jim Acosta grilled White House advisor Stephen Miller on immigration policy in the Trump Administration, he was not championing the tired, poor, huddled masses that the Statue of Liberty invites. He was championing his own cause, one that crosses the line of journalistic integrity into political partisanship.
Much has been said in regard to partisanship in the news media and it is largely true for both sides of the political spectrum. Bias in the news consumers receive and digest is the new norm. No clearer has this been apparent than when a few weeks ago, CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta tore off his reporter’s cap and donned the mantle of Republican opposition.
Acosta, rather than ask a question that would subsequently inform his viewers, recited to Stephen Miller the poem added to the Statue of Liberty in New York, saying “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.” He then chose to press Miller about the legitimacy and true nature of the Trump Administration’s new green card policy, saying it was possibly race-influenced.
Acosta started an argument with Miller. He did not ask a necessary, informative question, he did not ask something that would open up the floor for further voices. Acosta sought to debate Miller as a political opponent would, failing to understand (or perhaps disregarding entirely) that his job as a reporter is to report news, not instigate ideological arguments on the press room floor.
The ordeal was a disservice to Acosta’s colleagues in the White House press room as it was unfair and disrespectful to the qualified reporters simply trying to do their jobs, but it was especially a disservice to Acosta’s viewers, who have a right to receive news that is fair and not manipulated. Acosta, however, has begun to disregard his duty as a journalist to provide the public with legitimate stories that they can judge for themselves. He failed because that day he became the news, when he was instead supposed to report it.