Wake Up Call
The only benefit to getting me mad about attacks of press freedom
Most days, I wake my kids up with initial cheer and gentle encouragement.
“Good morning, ladies!” I sing out, having already spent 30 minutes reading the news and pouring coffee into my face (both of which get me fired up). “It’s time to rise and shine!”
If there is some reason to be extra-excited to get out of bed, I mention it here – “It’s pink T-shirt day! Come on! Don’t you want to get up and put on your special pink T-shirt?!”
Ruby, at age 11, will usually grudgingly get up and get dressed at this point, sleepy-eyed but agreeable; Georgia, age 6 and my night owl who would happily sleep until 10 if I let her, takes more cajoling that often culminates into frenzied barking of commands: “Georgia! Now! Clothes! Shoes! UP!” I frequently end up shaking Georgia into her leggings like a pillow into a pillowcase moments before we rush out the door.
But not Thursday morning. Thursday morning, I did my usual reading-of-news/drinking-of-coffee routine and woke my girls up by yelling about freedom of the press.
I am not the world’s biggest Jim Acosta fan for a variety of reasons, but as someone with two journalism degrees (and honestly, just as an American), the way this administration treats the press is worrisome, and that Acosta’s press credentials were revoked as retaliation is extremely problematic. Furthermore, the fact that the White House press secretary would release a (possibly doctored) video previously put out by Infowars (you know, the place where they insist that Pizzagate was real and Sandy Hook was fake) is terrifying.
We’re beyond Democrats and Republicans here. If I want sensible gun control and you believe strongly that the Second Amendment is not something on which you can compromise? We can just agree to disagree. But if you think that the grieving families of murdered 6-year-olds in Connecticut should be harassed because they’re crisis actors? There is no common ground there.
My husband had the misfortune of coming into the kitchen around this time, and so he was subjected to my thoughts on the matter. (Spoiler alert: My feelings were not positive; I feel very strongly about press freedom.)
The Radio Television Digital News Association, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and The White House Correspondents' Association have all condemned the revocation of Acosta’s press credentials, and I was joining in their condemnation, vociferously, when I realized I’d managed to wake all of my kids up without ever once having to use “pink T-shirt day” as an enticement.
This can’t be a winning strategy long-term, but at least I have one reason today to be happy about the whole thing.
Also, I’d like to share one of my favorite professor’s posts about the subject, “Dear Journalism Students, You Are Not the Enemy.”