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Nancy Smith

Marc Caputo, Apology Unnecessary

August 6, 2018 - 6:00am
Trump ralliers greet CNN's Jim Acosta in Tampa
Trump ralliers greet CNN's Jim Acosta in Tampa

Free speech. It works both ways.

Trump ralliers in Tampa last week were perfectly free to boo, "shoot the bird" and hurl verbal insults at CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta. 

But so was POLITICO Florida's Marc Caputo, a reporter outraged by the incivility of the crowd toward Acosta, just as free to call the insulters "garbage people" in a tweet.

I Beg to DifferWithout having to walk back his words.

I feel a little disheartened that Caputo, one of the fairest and most well-respected reporters by Democrats and Republicans alike in Florida, is taking a battlefield of flack from faux-outraged Republicans -- generally my ideological brethren who I thought understood and appreciated the meaning of free speech  under the First Amendment.

Let's look back at the July 31 Tampa rally for a moment.

Acosta had tweeted footage of Trump supporters jeering at him. He claimed he was “very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt.” 

Reacting to Acosta’s video and remarks, Caputo tweeted, “If you put everyone’s mouths together in this video, you’d get a full set of teeth.”

So sue me, I laughed.

One Twitter user shot this back to Caputo: "Not your best tweet, Marc.”  To which Caputo replied, "Oh, no! I made fun of garbage people jeering at another person as they falsely accused him of lying and flipped him off. Someone fetch a fainting couch.”

Caputo, by the way, wrote all this not in a story on the POLITICO Florida website, but on Twitter.  Medium preference of President Trump.

The same medium the president used this weekend when he tweeted, "The Fake News ... purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! ..."

Really? What war is that? When did the media ever cause a war? CBS' Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan asked White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway to reply to the president's tweet Sunday morning. After a long pause, Conway pivoted, referring to reporters "who aren't always telling the truth," then singled out Caputo by name and repeated his comment word-for-word -- as if he were talking about all Trump supporters instead of Acosta's hecklers.

And even if he weren't, who cares? The Founding Fathers and authors of the Bill of Rights wouldn't give a hoot. This is America.

Plus, Caputo, whose influence, at best, is limited to hundreds of thousands of readers, apparently is to be publicly humiliated for his tweet; meanwhile, the president, whose tweets reach hundreds of millions, gets a hall pass for alerting the world the media can cause war.

A prolific Twitter merchant, Caputo, author of POLITICO's Florida Playbook, later felt the need to take his original tweets down and write a three-part apology "for causing confusion and feeding anger." See the apology reproduced on this page. It smacks of force. Somebody pushed him to say "sorry."

It's classy. Classier than I could be. And I suspect classier than anything CNN's Acosta will get from Trump supporters in Tampa.

True, I've written about CNN's slanted coverage myself. I get it -- ralliers' anger and their decision to exercise free speech. But thousands ganging up on one reporter -- encouraged by the president of the United States -- struck me as medieval, the treatment a condemned man got on his way to the chopping block in the 13th Century. All it did is leave me cheering for the passion and biting wit of Marc Caputo, who clearly had something to say about group bullying.

Here is one Republican who wants Caputo to take down the apology.

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith


TANGENT ALERT….Sure he doesn’t need to apologize but…..Nancy, you make a few misguided assumptions and statements. Without going line by line, I'll highlight the most troubling ones. First, Caputo being "one of the fairest and most well-respected reporters by Democrats and Republicans alike in Florida", NEVER, even when at the Herald he was a joke. Maybe within "politicos" he is respected, but Nancy, the 2016 elections on both sides, with the rise of Trump and the strong showing for B. Sanders, showed a lot of Americans do not 'respect' "politicos" like Caputo. Second, it is not "faux-outrage". We, Trump supporters, would generally not care about his opinion, but when so many conservatives have lost their jobs for pervious tweets/comments, we believe "social punishment" should work both ways, preferably not at all (which you are right to assume is a conservative principle). That double standard that is causing real outrage, that is not 'FAUX'..... Third, as a previous comment stated, yes, the media can start a war... the media is extremely powerful, you should know that by now...Fourth, and perhaps the most disappointing point you tried to make is the "group bullying"..."thousands ganging up on one reporter"... Nancy how long have you been in media.... Thousands, if not perhaps millions have to see or hear about Acosta's smug disrespect toward the President, S. Sanders, and his comments made about Trump supporters by him and by others on his network daily...These “group bullies" as you wrongly refer to them as, are fed up Americans that never get the chance to express their feelings to the bully that is Acosta... To better illustrate this to you, again it is unfortunate that I even have to, imagine a student at a high school gets on the loud speaker every morning and says the drama club members are all uneducated and you expect that student to get a pass when they go to a meeting for the drama club?? I guarantee you some students will express discontent with that student, especially if they are rarely given the opportunity. Again, "thousands ganging up on one reporter"..I blame CNN for that, they know full well their reporters and network only cover Trump and his supporters negatively.. You don't expect them to express their discontent in person…? You are smart enough than that, Nancy….God Bless those "bullies", they have been tired of people like Caputo, Acosta, and others in your media cirlce referring to them in derogatory terms and they stood up for themselves. A misconception is that Trump is the one rallying these people up, when the reality is, they are rallying Trump. Trump is simply feeding off the crowd's energy. Notice most times he mentions McCain's thumb down vote, most in the audience do not boo or express discontent with McCain, perhaps because they respect McCain...but they have not reason to respect a REAL BULLY like Acosta. I will say you are right about one thing, Caputo was forced to apologize, as these types of twitter comments are nothing new from him. The right people finally noticed, like Megan McCain, and he was forced to apologize.

Nancy you are always right on. That is why we appreciate sound and reasonable journalism from your organization. Caputo is a condescending , arrogant and biased little stooge that serves no one but himself. Bet he has selfie photos online.

Caputo is a hate filled bitter little man. He once made fun of a cancer patient. How anyone respects him is beyond understandable. Nancy, read up on his previous hate fill comments. This apology is not necessary if he isn't apologizing for the rest.

I didn't believe this comment to be true. This is just disgusting. Caputo apparently has a long history of nasty comments. Politico should be ashamed to employ such a nasty individual.

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST: Politico spokesman Brad Dayspring said that editors at politico "“have addressed the issue” with Caputo"..........don't worry Nancy, his apology isn't authentic. It was NECESSARY if he wanted to stay employed and get that paycheck LMAO Caputo showed everyone his true colors.

I agree that Caputo does not need to apologize. Caputo also does not need to pretend to be an actual journalist. Just like Margaret Brennan, Jimmy Acosta, or any other fake journalist. To answer Margaret's question, which I hope is not a question you are asking as well, many historians have long credited Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst for causing the United States to enter the Spanish-American War. Nancy, I am sure you are aware of the term 'yellow journalism', where a publication uses sensationalism to sell papers without offering substance behind their claim. This has become a common practice for most "reporters" these days. To quote our President, it is SAD and yes it is DANGEROUS to our democracy.

Nancy, you should read through his twitter feed, if he hasn't cleared it yet. Caputo has a long history on twitter of being a bully, this time it just got pathetically transparent. If a conservative was to act the way Caputo does, they would be banned from twitter. What is sad is his behavior should have been called out years ago, but his colleagues all do the same so no one called him out. Caputo has long believed he is on a high-horse above the rest, and I am glad he got called out, for once! Caputo has always been a bully, and at his age, I am sure he will never change.

Trump clearly and purposely incites the boobs that attend his rallies. That alone should rise to at least the level of "misdemeanors" within the context and meaning of the broader prohibition of "high crimes and misdemeanors" on the part of a president.

Trump is simply giving the media what they have been giving conservatives for decades..we finally have someone that speaks for us...guess what, trump isn't inciting us, he's a product of our decades old discontent. This behavior is nothing new from Caputo, trump is simply driving them crazy to the point they can no longer hide there true colors.

I just don't believe that we should continue to escalate these angry tirades, Nancy. Yes free speech is guaranteed by the United States Constitution, until it incites violence or the safety of people in the room as previous court cases have established (Fire/Crowded theatre). I would like for you to be one that walks back the media haters.

No need for Caputo to apologize. He's with Politico so anybody with half a brain takes anything they say with a grain of salt anyway.

hahahahaha caputo is a joke! He is a clown that gives all journalists a terrible reputation.

Politico, including Politico Florida, is a total joke. Clowns like Caputo are only taken seriously by media darlings and politicos that live in their sociological bubbles. Shame on him and the MS media.

As much as I think CNN is biased, I too, think it is a bit hypocritical to cry foul when someone says something we don’t like, all the while saying things others don’t like. Caputo got the best of the hecklers, and their feelings were hurt.

Caputo doesn't have to apologize, neither should the hecklers. Caputo and his colleagues shouldn't play high-almighty like they are any better than the hecklers. Caputo likes to play the classy reporter card when in reality he's just another heckler. Difference is the audience at the rally don't have a megaphone, aka a publisher in the form of politico, to spread their opinions. Caputo and Acosta do. I can sympathize with the hecklers. They are bad mouthed daily with only the president defending them. Caputo and Acosta get published daily to wipe up their hate speech. Politico got embarrassed they got caught and forced Marc to apologize. Caputo's heart is filled with hate and he knows it.

It amazes me that for years the liberal media has had the open mic and could and did say what the hell they pleased whether true or not. We conservatives have put up with it with only token resistance. Now we have a man in the White House - not a politician thank G*D - who is isn't afraid to call a spade a spade. Let's be honest, the media is and has been for the most part totally biased - not just against Trump but America and all who love this country!!! The lack of civility over the past several years can be laid right at Obama and liberals feet. His time in office was one of the most divisive times I've witnessed in my 70+ years. For 8 plus years the liberal media had their way of saying what they wanted - truth be damned. No longer!! Not only does President Trump have the right to tell it like it is, so do we the American Patriots. There are a few good media type out there, but few and far between. What the whiners can't comprehend is people are finally standing up to their bullying. DEAL WITH IT.

Agree 100% with 'it amazes me'. The media is finally getting what they've had coming to them. This rhetoric is nothing new for Caputo.

Everytime this president says something outrageous doesn't mean he's 'telling it like it is'. Sometimes he's just telling lies to whip up people like you. The media haven't started any wars. He knows it but he doesn't care because he needs you to always believe they are wrong and he is right.

You are the bully.

Your eternal destiny is based on the way your treat people. What you do to the least of my brothers you do to me! All this lack of civility is putting many people at risk.

From the start, CNN has broadcast Trump rallies in full for free. Trump's genius for advertising secured him unlimited free publicity throughout the primaries and the general election. I don't remember any candidate, office holder or president whose speeches were broadcast in full all the time. They are entertaining spectacles, even if you disagree with's like watching a train wreck. Stop giving him all the free airtime, his comments about the press wouldn't be front page. He encourages us to respond in kind. His hyperbole undercuts any good he accomplishes, it's tainted by his "locker room" talk. Nancy, your defense of Caputo is brave, considering the tenor of so many of your readers. What good is your 2nd Amendment if the First Amendment is gutted. What is left to protect with all your guns?

You're absolutely correct!

Jim Acosta is a despicable person, on numerous occasions he has maligned, abused, and disrupted Sarah Sanders at White House Press Conferences. He is 180 degrees from Civility, and should be banned from the White House. He is rude, crude, and he earned every "Boo" and every "CNN Sucks" chant that he complained about. Then he had the nerve to announce that he was in fear of his life even though there was not one physical threat made. The truth is none of those Trump Supporters would touch Acosta with a 10' pole.

Can't say it any better than "Republican Conscience." Caputo was wrong but right to take down his twitter. Nancy, you are wrong on this one. Can the news media stop the crap? Jim Acosta should be banned from the White House Press Corp.

Caputo nailed it.

Sorry, Nancy. Caputo's general attitude has long Illustrated the caricature of the traditional narcissist journalist, who believe they are above 'the common folk'. "Well-respected reporter" is a stretch.. He's as well respected as Acosta is. Know for grandstanding and self promotion over journalistic integrity and honesty, from republicans and democrat activists (not insiders). Caputo is an insider's sweetheart reporter. Exactly what Americans on both sides of the aisle are rejecting. Perhaps if "journalist" like Acosta and Caputo actually practiced journalism, the American people wouldn't be splitting into extremes. He is a one of the many components that have led to the distrust in the 'system'. Matt Dixon> Caputo.

AGREE !... THIS is Caputo's "moment of fame" (he'll be LUCKY if he EVER experiences another...), and all accomplished with a 'tweet' (while forcing his way into the limelight); "EXIT STAGE LEFT Jester !" [OUR "crowd" is smiling,...YOURS never is...!)

Yes! Politico FL is a circus and Caputo is their star jester!

Comments are now closed.

nancy smith


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