The national political journalists who cover the Trump administration are heroes, frequently risking their lives to tweet out photos of the president giving a press conference on CNN.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 15, 2020
Jim Acosta is one of the most courageous reporters in the business. That goes without saying. Nevertheless, this strange tweet, which might otherwise be described as "s—posting," is part of a disturbing trend among members of the national media.
Political reporters have become obsessed with narcing people out for not wearing so-called protective masks on their faces. Whether the alleged offenders are politicians or even fellow journos, the White House press corps has been aggressively shaming maskless individuals with the vigilance of an aggrieved Karen demanding to speak to the manager.
"Why are some of you wearing a mask and some of you not wearing a mask?" CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins asked on Friday during a press conference with Trump and other administration officials. She was not wearing her mask when she asked the question.
CNN's coronavirus coverage has been particularly focused on whether President Trump or Vice President Mike Pence is wearing a mask at any given moment. Earlier this week, a CNN photographer apparently hid in some bushes near the White House to snap a shot of Pence wearing a mask.
— Maegan Vazquez (@maeganvaz) May 12, 2020
The entire media establishment previously lost its mind when Pence didn't wear a mask during a recent visit to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and again, several days later, when the VP delivered personal protective equipment to a health care center in Virginia. "No mask, no gloves, no distancing," wrote Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn. "This is a dumb photo-op."
ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl went so far as to publicly shame a fellow journalist, John Roberts of Fox News. "Almost everybody in the Rose Garden is wearing a mask—almost everybody," Karl snarked on Twitter, the popular social networking website. The tweet includes a series of images of reporters and White House staff members wearing masks, and one of Roberts, who wasn't wearing a mask—but wore one shortly thereafter.
Facts – I was quietly seated more than 6' away from the closest person (adhering to CDC social distancing guidelines)
-When the press conference began, I put mask on.
So – what, exactly is the basis for this petty effort at shaming???? https://t.co/ctW4knjkyD
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) May 11, 2020
Karl was just doing what comes naturally. Last week, he was peppering the White House press secretary with questions about Trump's mask-wearing habits. Sure, he's just doing his job—seeking out the truth. But these political reporters should probably take a deep breath, so to speak. They might want to consider the possibility that they have run afoul of one of the principal rules for existing in a prosperous society: Don't be a narc.