An Open Letter to Jim Acosta

Jim Acosta speaking at a campaign rally for Donald Trump at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo By Gage Skidmore

Dear Jim,

I strongly suspect that our president suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which means that he is a mentally ill man. I doubt this comes as news to you, given your position as the chief White House Correspondent for CNN. However, after watching your interactions with him for almost two years, it is clear to me that you have no idea what you are up against. To put it simply, Jim: you are doing it wrong.

Those suffering from NPD- and make no mistake, they are suffering- have no self-worth. They may compensate for this by surrounding themselves with people who adore and approve of them, and who will never challenge anything that they say. They may seek to acquire wealth, status, fame, and power in attempt to gain the admiration they so desperately need in order to maintain their delicate façade. They require full devotion, which is rarely reciprocated. Sound familiar, Jim?

When President Trump talks about respect for the office, what he really wants is adoration. Without it, you are cheating him of his own self-worth. And we can’t have that, can we? If you challenge him- as you have done for years- you become a threat to him. As long as you are out there, you are a constant reminder of his feeling of worthlessness. He cannot abide anyone who will not give him the admiration and approval that he needs to feel better about himself. His anger boils just beneath the surface, until he can’t hide it any longer, as we saw during the press conference last week. He will shame, mock, and belittle you in an attempt emasculate you. These attacks will never stop, and the harder you fight them, the more vicious they will be.

The best thing that you can do for yourself, your network, and your country is to simply not engage him any longer. To give in to your instincts is to give him exactly what he wants and needs: a foil. A scapegoat. A punching bag. If your White House hard pass is reinstated, you should politely, but firmly, decline to use it. Do not enable this man any longer. I know it will be difficult. I know it is not fair. I know that it will take an enormous amount of discipline not to defend yourself, CNN, and freedom of the press. But the only way to win this game is not to play.

So, that lawsuit that you and CNN are bringing against this administration? Forget it. It’s a trap, Jim. I know that walking away from a position that you earned in protest is a difficult thing to do. But you need to know that there will never be a resolution to this that comes close to being just; you are flotsam in the wake of a man whose only instinct is to save himself. So, save yourself. Go against your instincts and swim parallel to the shore. President Trump will find himself a shiny new scapegoat in the White House press corps before long, no doubt. Let him. But you don’t have to play.

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