Following the legal saga of #AcostaGate, the White House has now put out some ground rules for journalists.
Per White House letter to Acosta on Nov. 19, here are the new rules for press conferences at the White House. pic.twitter.com/a6C2pmLv2K
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) November 19, 2018
It’s pretty simple: Journalists get one question when called upon, follow-ups are at the discretion of the president or White House official giving the press conference, and when it’s no longer your turn, you hand the microphone over. It’s so simple a kindergartner could grasp it. This short set of protocols seem to be basic rules of conduct for a reasonable human being.
However, most reasonable people wouldn’t conduct themselves like a self-important showboat, as Acosta did at the November 7 White House press conference. No, we’re dealing with a different standard here. It’s the same kind of standard that requires warning labels on products that seem silly, but probably exist because someone did something stupid and then sued when things went badly.
Most people in this world don’t need to be told that packages of peanuts might set off peanut allergies or that they shouldn’t use cleaning chemicals as body wash. For everyone else, there’s a warning label to inform them of how to handle themselves like a functional human being without adverse effects from their behavior.
Yes, it seems there’s always “that guy” who does something that requires either a special safety label, a new rule, or a company-wide safety briefing in its aftermath. For the White House press corps, Jim Acosta is that guy.