Thursday, August 3, 2017

Speaking English?

The whole world was able to watch “live” the encounter between CNN reporter Jim Acosta and aide to President Trump, Stephen Miller, at yesterday’s White House Press Briefing.  There is a history behind that encounter that we ought to know.  Miller proclaimed on national TV in February 2017:  “Our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”  Read that statement again—and again—and again.  Think about this part of it: “the powers of the president… are very substantial and will not be questioned.”  Since when was it decided or determined that a president of the United States of America would not be questioned?  Our government is “a government of the people, for the people, and by the people,” the last I heard!  We have the right, a constitutional right, to ask questions of all levels of government, including and particularly the president.  Don’t let that right be confiscated!

Now, Jim Acosta is a veteran reporter and also has a history that needs to be known. He is aggressive and his questions often polarizing.  It was Acosta who irritated President Trump at a January 2017 news conference, prompting the president to say:  “You are fake news!”  Since then, there has been a deep animosity between the Administration and CNN.

Yesterday, the two clashed, but it was a clash that involved much more than the Administration’s new proposal on merit-based green cards.   There is a history—and to understand anything at all—we have to have some understanding of what has gone on before.

Acosta asked Miller if the new proposal went against the inscription on the Statue of Liberty:  “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”  Miller responded by saying, “the poem you’re referring to, was added later, [and] is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.”  Note that Miller didn’t answer the question asked.  He went on to suggest Acosta’s and CNN’s  “cosmopolitan bias,” and the apparent “stupidity” of Acosta’s questions.

Do you speak English?  Then you ought to understand what happened in this encounter and we all must be concerned.

Don't let this happen to our democracy!

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