Opinion: Jim Acosta is a hypocrite


Photo by Lilah Kimble

Tyler Palicia

On Thursday, February 13, I spent an hour in the Keller Theater listening to a panel of four prominent American media professionals, which included CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta. At times, brief skirmishes broke out between the four personalities, but the mood was generally amiable.

The theme of the evening: don’t trust anyone in a time when disinformation and outright lies overtake and bludgeon truth with the speed and efficiency of a mouse click.  Beware all, because conservative aunts on Facebook are just as likely to spread fake news as the Russians.

Take from it what you will.

When asked by a fellow panelist why the media failed in 2016, Jim Acosta responded, “I do think if there was one thing that we did wrong more than anything else, it was that we really did not fully appreciate or understand the threat posed by Russia in 2016.”

The panelists seemed to align under the false pretense that outside influence granted Trump his victory in 2016, rather than recognize the DNC’s failure to promote a marketable candidate as well as their own shortcomings as representatives of a sensationalistic media.

I felt an uneasy lack of closure walking out of the session, which forbade all recording and ended abruptly without a Q&A period despite its alleged focus on free press. I was mainly sick of the grandstanding.

There was a notable moment when Acosta half-jokingly criticized Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity as arbiters of “fake news,” saying, “If your Uncle Fred sends you a story on Facebook from www.HillaryClinton’sbabyisanalien.com, that might be a clue that it is actual fake news… and it is incumbent on you to call Uncle Fred and say please, please stop sending me that garbage on Facebook, I think you got that on Hannity or Tucker Carlson.”

While I agree with Acosta’s premise that Fox News is a branch of right-wing political propaganda, I find it hypocritical of him to slander other “journalists” for participating in the same style of slanted reporting that his own network thrives on. Acosta comes off as a partisan hack when he accuses Fox News, a mainstream media outlet only distinguishable from CNN in its political leanings, of being “fake news” while simultaneously claiming martyrdom every time the president accuses his own network of being “fake news.”

Acosta seems to believe that only radical conservatives are disgusted by CNN’s coverage, which primarily caters to the Democratic establishment. Isn’t he aware that many progressives, including myself, cringe at CNN’s unfair coverage of non-corporate, anti-establishment Democratic candidates like Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard? I guess we’ll never know because he wouldn’t answer questions. What’s his book about again… free press?


After the panel, my friends and I ended up camping out at a corner table in Co-Op to dissect our hazy recollections of what the panelists may or may not have said. Unfortunately, there was no recording for us to reference. My handwritten notes were limited to what I have already presented to you. We digressed in the futile hope that we might parse out some vague wisdom, or even–as naïve as it sounds–clarity. 

All three of us, slightly varying leftists, agreed that each of the panelists had made their share of insightful and egregiously foolish points. In line with much of America’s modern left, if such a monolith even exists anymore, we floundered in our effort to pinpoint any specific commonalities between our views.

Only one thing is certain: the 2020 Democratic primary outcome is still a complete toss-up and professional journalists are just as clueless of the future as anyone else. My hope is that it will be a fair toss-up. But given the DNC’s history of favoring corporate candidates over grassroots progressives, I doubt it.

I ended the night with a lingering sense that if the last go-around will be any indication of what is to come, our country is gearing up for a farce. That evening, I walked back to my dorm wondering if the Democratic establishment is gambling with America’s future, or just playing Russian roulette.