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I was surprised when U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly determined CNN's Jim Acosta should have his withdrawn White House press credentials restored after throwing one of the most unprofessional, disrespectful and arrogant hissy fits I've ever seen from any journalist, much less such childishness aimed at a president in our White House briefing room.

Of course, we have First Amendment rights to cover and report the news of the day. To me, First Amendment rights weren't at question here. The real question is: Do I have a right to be flagrantly juvenile and rude to any president during a press conference when he already has answered two of my questions as colleagues wait to ask theirs? And refuse to surrender the microphone as President Donald Trump directs him?

Acosta's employer, CNN, also never lost the option of assigning another more professional adult to cover these conferences, right?

This was a formal press conference called by the president who was prepared to answer questions from an assortment of journalists, not one know-it-all. You'd think his colleagues would have resented how the loud-mouthed Acosta so blatantly monopolized time also meant for their questions.

Over the years I've asked tough questions at press conferences across the nation without the need to be insolent or disrespectful to the person at the podium. So in one federal judge's opinion is it now acceptable for all White House reporters to behave in such a childish and offensive way at White House press conferences? Is Acosta's grossly partisan, attack-dog style the new norm? Civility and manners be damned?

With Acosta's White House credentials restored, the president can choose to eliminate press conferences, get rid of cameras in the room altogether, or ignore Acosta and his predictably self-aggrandizing outbursts. Trump is now developing rules for proper decorum at his future conferences, adding he will walk out if they aren't followed. Don't blame him. So would I.

Acosta's colleagues can thank his behavior for having those new stricter standards also imposed on them.

Beltway fairy tale

Heard about the candidate for Congress respected for her integrity and idealism? Once upon a time, she campaigned in her state against the entrenched swamp creatures of the beltway, pledging positive reforms in the corrupt system permeating our nation's capital.

Despite hefty campaign contributions from those seeking influence, the lady remained admirably intent on following her convictions and the majority sentiments of her constituents who were demanding reforms that create a method of governing honorably "of, by and for the people." In other words, to serve as a metaphorical drop of disinfecting bleach.

Elected to office on those beliefs and promises, she arrived on Capitol Hill to be greeted by a veteran gang from her political party. They took her aside over a $40 lunch and martinis to explain realities in the swamp.

The congresswoman wound up with her desired committee appointments, the support of her party and its agendas, along with the luncheon spiel recited to all new arrivals also elected in large measure because of personal appeal and promises back home.

Her "orientation" went something like this: "Now that we have given you what you desired, along with the opportunity to enrich yourself like those of us who've been here a while (incidentally, the longer you're here, the better you'll like it) we have a few expectations.

"Being the intelligent, fair-minded sort everyone here knows you to be, it's your turn to give us what we want in return, including the bloc votes we will need to benefit our party.

"That's only fair and reasonable, right? After all, this process isn't a one-way street serving only what you want, right? Our party has to stay united to preserve power together and resist above all else. Otherwise, we all will lose together, right?"

She recoiled at first, remembering those campaign pledges to put the people's needs first and her earnest desire to improve life for all citizens in the most responsible way, rather than voting to ensure her party could gain and retain power.

"After all," she thought, "don't I represent my constituents from every political party now that I've gained this position of trust? And what about my convictions and those vows I made to get elected?"

As promised, things eventually did become beneficial for her personally, from her influence on the Hill to gaining personal wealth from obliging lobbyists, as she rose in seniority while dutifully voting as instructed. Soon, other newcomer representatives filled with ideals arrived. And their indoctrination began.

Lo and behold, these arriving drops of purifying bleach as hers once had been were absorbed into the black tub of toxic beltway muck and absorbed by the goal of securing and holding political power.

As for the 330 million who depended upon those they elect to serve their overall best interests and those of the country? Well, their nation continued in constant division and gridlock as the overriding beat of "resistance and obstruction" drummed on. The end.


Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist. Email him at

Editorial on 11/20/2018

Print Headline: Acosta's tantrum


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    November 20, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

    Bravo, 23!

  • JA40
    November 20, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

    Thanks to each of you, especially 23CAL. I enjoyed Mike......but not anymore. He had a niche in journalism, but he lost it......and many readers. I just got the jest of his article, and that's all it takes now.

  • SWAL
    November 20, 2018 at 9:37 a.m.

    23CAL - If you would call people idiots, drunks, illiterate, etc.. you could be almost like RBEAR. Yield the floor sometimes and just listen.

  • johnblackwell56gmailcom
    November 20, 2018 at 9:55 a.m.

    Lots of hypocritical butthurt libbies in here today! Great comments 23cal! Yay!

  • RBear
    November 20, 2018 at 10:13 a.m.

    Masterson once again wanders outside the hills of Arkansas into territory he really has no business in. Most of his "columns" come from reading and regurgitating right wing blather. The second section of this column really makes no sense other than a neat story tale. Is there some congresswoman he's referring to?

  • GeneralMac
    November 20, 2018 at 10:19 a.m.

    Andy Warhol says everybody gets their 15 minutes of fame.

    Too bad Acosta squandered on refusing to give up the mic.

  • WhododueDiligence
    November 20, 2018 at 10:21 a.m.

    The first paragraph is one big hissy fit over perceived hissy fits and, even worse, over US District Judge Timothy Kelly's ruling. It's a life-like imitation of Masterson's hero Donald Trump. Over the past three years Trump has thrown many childish hissy fits while failing to answer reporters' questions. It's what he does. Trump routinely berates and insults journalists while bashing the media. Disrespectful? Arrogant? Juvenile? Rude? That's what he is. How can anyone fail to see each of those in Trump? Especially since Trump behaves that way to nearly everyone not named Putin, including members of his own cabinet and other people he appointed.
    Speaking US District Judges, since the advent of Trump even they get hissy-fitted. Trump threw several big hissy fits at US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel because Trump was trying to defend his (cough, cough) Trump University from judicial scrutiny. Besides childishly calling US-born Curiel a Mexican, Trump repeatedly called Curiel, among other childish things, a hater of Trump. Yes, that's correct, Trump childishly spoke of Trump in the second person as a poor innocent victim in the Trump University case. Basically Trump had multiple hissy fits because he couldn't keep Trump University a buried secret like his buried secretive income taxes.
    So Masterson's hissy fit is understandable. How else could anyone attempt to defend Trump?

  • GeneralMac
    November 20, 2018 at 10:35 a.m.

    In the future, everyone will remember who Donald Trump was.

    No one will remember who Acosta was.

  • Packman
    November 20, 2018 at 11:42 a.m.

    At first I too was surprised by the ruling until it was explained as a due process issue and not whether a Commander-In-Chief could do such a thing. The White House now has a specific policy and procedure in place regarding the issuance or revocation of press credentials and Jim Acosta (or is it Beto Acosta?) will be (Adam) Schitt out of luck.
    Hey Tidmore - Good to hear from you. Been worried about you ever since you made that hysterical post the other day about President Trump. Stay on your meds, dude. They obviously make a difference.

  • condoleezza
    November 20, 2018 at 12:45 p.m.

    It's always fun when Jiminyc56 and GeneralMaKKK stumble in here after their morning raids of the alcohol cabinet to call everyone names because they can refute nothing logically.