I know some of our readers won’t touch anything with a liberal provenance, but I have a very soft spot for the comic “Doonesbury.” Granted, Garry Trudeau and his most famous creation have both become a kind of self-parody as the artist has aged, but reading some of the comics during its heyday can make me laugh in spite of my vehement disagreement with the point.
Of my favorite Trudeau creations is Roland Burton Hedley, a vainglorious reporter so credulous and lacking in self-awareness he’ll pretty much report anything without realizing how imbecilic it makes him — and the narrative he’s trying to push — look.
My favorite gag involved him doing a report on campus student life; one of the protagonists, trying to get Hedley to believe that the mild-mannered liberals on their commune were irredeemable hedonists as part of a joke, is able to pass off a lilac bush as their own personal marijuana plant.
In the world of “Doonesbury,” Hedley was, when I last checked in with the comic, working at Fox News — because of course he was. In the real world, I get the feeling he’s working at CNN and his name is Jim Acosta.
Acosta has had more than one Hedley moment, and I’ve made the comparison before. However, what he managed to do Thursday in McAllen, Texas, was truly a work of Hedleyean art.
Acosta was part of the press pool accompanying President Donald Trump down to the border, where the president had a press conference as part of his push for wall funding. He posed in front of seized drugs, weapons and ill-gotten cash, along with law enforcement officers and families of victims.
It was a photo op, and the president admitted as much, but it was an effective one. If Trump is going to have a photo op, however, CNN’s well-coiffed Hedley impersonator is going to have his own as well. After all, if you’ve ever watched a presidential press conference with Jim Acosta present, you know who Jim Acosta thinks the real star is.
For his photo op, Acosta strutted along the border, giving a monologue about just how anodyne life really was there.
“As we’re walking along here, we’re not seeing any kind of imminent danger,” Acosta said in the second half of his 35-second video.
“There are some other businesses behind me, along this highway,” he added. “There’s a gas station, a Burger King and so on. No sign of the national emergency that the president’s been talking about. As a matter of fact, it’s pretty tranquil down here.”
I found some steel slats down on the border. But I don’t see anything resembling a national emergency situation.. at least not in the McAllen TX area of the border where Trump will be today. pic.twitter.com/KRoLdszLUu
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 10, 2019
So, you may have noticed I was coy about the first half of the video. Remember what I said about lack of self-awareness? I’m sorry, Mr. Hedley — you’ve got nothing on Jim Acosta.
In trying to make the case against a border fence, Jim Acosta noted that it was “pretty tranquil down here” in front of a border fence.
“I hope the American people aren’t lost on the irony that he’s standing behind a wall saying it’s peaceful. Because there’s a wall. Think about that, right? The irony there,” Mark Morgan, former head of the Border Patrol, told Fox News.
When I went with President @realDonaldTrump to the border today I never imagined @Acosta would be there doing our job for us and so clearly explaining why WALLS WORK. Thanks Jim! https://t.co/7wC4rdEsZ2
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 10, 2019
The National Border Patrol Council’s spokesman for agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, meanwhile, said that Acosta ought to stick around when there wasn’t a press pool around and it wasn’t daylight.
“What he fails to realize is he’s out there with cameras during the day. Everything is pretty nice and calm during the day,” Chris Cabrera told Fox News. “If he sees it as so safe out there, why doesn’t he just pitch a tent by the river and hang (there) for a couple of days and get back to us on how safe he feels?”
Do you think that Jim Acosta is a hack?
Cabrera noted another irony: “CNN put on their news feed, not two weeks ago, ‘border crisis.’ Now there’s not a border crisis. We catch the equivalent of one of those caravans they talk about per week in McAllen. We see 5,000, 7,000, 10,000 a week just in our area. Those are people turning themselves in and people trying to get away.”
It’s worth noting even Acosta realized how tin-eared and self-defeating this video was. Along with the video, he tweeted: “The steel slats don’t run the entire length of the border in the McAllen area. We found one part where there is a chain link fence. Occasionally migrants come through, but residents say their community is quite safe.”
Right. Which is why he chose to do the video in front of the slatted fence.
How’s that lilac bush, Roland?
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via Conservative Tribune
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