Jim Acosta and the hubris of celebrity journalism

Pardon me for not joining the journalistic pack and defending the divine right of reporters to act as buffoonishly as possible without suffering consequences. I know that is the response de rigueur for editors when someone like Acosta goes out of bounds, but I bring nearly four decades of experience in community journalism to the table, and to me Acosta is just one more self-important reporter who gives a bad name to the hard-working journalists who take their job more seriously than their haircut.

Truth be told, I have hired a couple of reporters and photographers over the years who thought they could be rude to the subjects they were covering. But unlike CNN I didn’t sue the sources who objected to the bad behavior of my employees; instead I sat down the culprits and told them that a repeat performance would not be tolerated. That, in a nutshell, seems to be the difference between community journalism and celebrity journalism. No one wants to sit Jim Acosta down and tell him the truth. He is a pretentious boor who needs to settle down and do his job — respectfully!

This entitlement mentality of his (and others in the TV pack) seems to be a manifestation of the mistaken belief that journalists have been granted some kind of hereditary nobility endowed to them by Woodward and Bernstein of Watergate fame.