CNN Cries Over Rebuke by Romney Aide in Poland

-By Warner Todd Huston

CNN wants us to feel sorry for it. More specifically CNN reporter Jim Acosta wants us to feel sorry for him. It was Acosta who said on a July 31 broadcast that the behavior of Romney’s aide in Poland was “really inexcusable” and “sort of unprovoked.”

In case you missed the furor of the Old Media, while visiting Poland’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Pilsudski Square, various members of the press following Romney on his overseas trip began to scream out questions at the candidate as he made to leave the memorial. This loud disrespect for the somber atmosphere of the memorial prompted Romney’s traveling press secretary, Rick Gorka, to interject, dressing down the media and even cursing at them.

As reporters from CNN, The New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post screamed out questions, Gorka sternly asked them to “show some respect.”

The press was screaming out things like “what about your gaffes,” and “do you have a statement for the Palestinians” and eventually Romney aide Gorka could no longer contain himself. Just before Gorka acted, CNN’s Acosta himself yelled out a whiney, “Governor Romney just a few questions sir, you haven’t taken but three questions on this trip from the press!”

Finally, when a reporter for The Times started whining saying that Romney hadn’t taken any questions from him in a while, Gorka replied, “Kiss my ass. This is a Holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.”

A few seconds later, Gorka told Jonathan Martin of Politico to “shove it.”

An hour or so later the Romney aide called several members of the press to apologize for losing his cool.

All this caused CNN’s Acosta to play the victim on the Tuesday newscast with Carol Costello.

Acosta claimed that the boorish behavior of the media is somehow normal, so screaming things out at such a “Holy site” shouldn’t get Romney and his aides all upset. Acosta went on to claim that Gorka’s treatment of him was “sort of unprovoked” and that it was “really inexcusable.”

Acosta insisted that “to expect the media not to ask you questions is sort of unrealistic” and went on to note that Sam Donaldson of ABC routinely used to show disrespect for President Reagan, so Romney should basically just accept it from CNN, too.

See Newsbusters for the full transcript of the CNN segment.


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  • Acosta is an embarrassment for those of us who have spent a lifetime in journalism. Boo hoo, you got dressed down. It happens all the time; grow some balls.

  • Have they ever shown this behavior to Obama? No. In fact, he wasn't happy at this much milder, early incident.

    ' "Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here." Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye. "Alright, come on" he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do." '

    At Prof. Ann Althouse's blog, someone commented, "You can't ask questions in here--this is the press room!"

    On a later post of hers, someone came up with the movie title: "Dr. Changegov, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The 'Bama"

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