Speed Reads

Make Celebrity Great Again

Trump fans loudly heckled CNN's Jim Acosta at South Carolina rally, then asked him for selfies, autographs

At a freewheeling campaign rally in South Carolina Monday night, President Trump trash-talked late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert, plus Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and former first lady Laura Bush; denied that first lady Melania Trump had just gotten a facelift; criticized one of South Carolina's largest employers; praised director David Lynch for not hating him; and almost incidentally encouraged his 2,000 gathered fans to vote for his host, Gov. Henry McMaster (R), in Tuesday's GOP primary runoff.

Trump virtually ignoring the candidate he's there to endorse "is not new," says BuzzFeed News' Henry Gomez. "The cost of securing Trump for your big rally is playing second fiddle to the president and his whims. And that's what the people who attend these rallies want. They come for the show. And sometimes that means seeing (or starting) a fight with the media." On Monday night, the pre-rally jeers were aimed at CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta. "These were tense moments," Gomez reported, adding:

But before long, Acosta made his way to the metal barricade. ... He posed for selfies, first with a kind woman who genuinely seemed to want one, and then with others who appeared more eager to share the moments ironically on social media. Then something even stranger happened: Acosta began signing autographs. A slip of paper here, a campaign sign there. Even the bill of one “Make America Great Again” hat. Eventually one of his most persistent hecklers ... engaged Acosta in a friendly conversation. [BuzzFeed News]

"I do think it is possible to have civility in this society, Don," Acosta told Don Lemon afterward, "but we all have to work on it: press secretaries, presidents, journalists, and people who go to these rallies." That's one lesson to take from the night, but you could also surmise that in these troubled times of uncivil behavior, we can all agree: Fame is its own currency.