Wednesday’s White House press briefing took a tense turn when White House adviser Stephen Miller, who was at the podium to announce the administration’s new immigration bill, got testy with CNN reported Jim Acosta.
Miller said the bill gives preference to people who already speak English. Acosta, the son of Cuban parents, asked Miller if that meant America would accept immigrants from only Great Britain and Australia, and added, “It just sounds like you’re trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country.”
Miller, who introduced himself to the country on the Sunday morning news programs several months ago with a bit of a strangely authoritarian approach, sniped at Acosta: “That is one of the most outrageous, ignorant, insulting and foolish things you’ve ever said.” Acosta then brought up the proposed border wall, and Miller quipped, “Do you really, at CNN, not know the difference between green-card policy and illegal immigration?”
Enter Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who saw the exchange as an opening to attack the rival network and its chief White House correspondent: “We can answer that question. No, they don’t know the difference.”
Then came a Carlson firestorm: “They are utterly ignorant on the subject of immigration. And yet, and here’s the amazing part, they are still filled with absolute moral certainty and boundless self-righteousness. They are buffoons, in other words. They are the drunk at the party with bad breath who won’t stop talking. Wow, is that embarrassing!”
Mark Steyn, a conservative author and Carlson’s guest Wednesday night, then made fun of Acosta’s suggestion that the policy would limit immigration to just Great Britain and Australia, two countries where English is obviously the language of the land.
“The idea that this is just some pasty white man’s language is so deranged,” Steyn said. “Almost a third of the members of the United Nations are proficient English, more or less.”
Carlson got in one last shot: “Jim Acosta thinks English is a race.”