Concha Blasts ‘Entitled,’ ‘Obnoxious’ Jim Acosta for ‘Grandstanding’ at Trump Press Conference

Appearing on Sunday’s edition of Fox News’s MediaBuzz, The Hill’s Joe Concha ripped into CNN’s Jim Acosta as “entitled” and “obnoxious” when he tussled on Wednesday with President-elect Trump by “grandstanding” and yelling over a dozen times at Trump.

Host Howard Kurtz wanted to know what Concha made of Acosta’s complaints regarding the Trump team and the “denial of real news,” but Concha first emphasized that Acosta hasn’t exactly been civil in dealings with the incoming White House.

“I wonder why Jim Acosta felt that he was entitled — more privileged than the other 250 reporters that were in that room by repeatedly yelling no more than 14 times at a President-elect, demanding that he be afforded the right to ask a question. I found that to be grandstanding,” Concha began.

Picking up on something reported by Fox News correspondent John Roberts, Concha added this peculiar tidbit about CNN prior to the January 11 presser: “CNN, that morning, around 5:45, reserved eight seats for themselves in the front row by putting reserved signs down there, effectively boxing out other news organizations that wanted that kind of access.”

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To say the least, The Hill’s media reporter didn’t mince words on how CNN behaved last week: “CNN’s behavior here, I have to say has been — in Jim Acosta’s case, making about himself, making himself the story, and CNN — eight reservations, Howie, that’s just obnoxious.”

Using some research of his own to argue that Acosta should simmer down, Concha pointed to how President Obama all but ignored Fox News during “his first 36 solo press conferences”:

I mean, President Obama, during some press conferences that he had, I did some research on this, Howie. In his first 36 solo press conferences, 22 of those 36 times he did not call upon Fox News, the number-one-rated cable news network in the country. So, when we hear CNN talking about, well, you know, I want to be able to ask a question, they are going to be treated probably the same way by Donald Trump the way President Obama treated Fox News with disdain[.]

BuzzFeed News and that salacious and unsubstantiated dossier was the week’s other big media story, so Concha had plenty to say about that as well. 

In addition to differentiating how BuzzFeed News and CNN went about the story differently, Concha keenly noted how the story matched a trend of whenever explosive anti-Trump reports are unearthed:

I go back and look at timing also, Howie, around Donald Trump and interesting information getting out before big events. Before the first presidential debate — magically — in a New York Times reporter’s mailbox his 1995 tax returns just happen to show up. And then before the second presidential debate the Access Hollywood tape magically shows up in a Washington Post’s reporter’s mailbox as well and now one day before his press conference — highly anticipated — this information is suddenly reported getting out when every news organization had it for months. I question the timing and I would look to Thursday to see what other surprise news event is going to happen the day before the inauguration.

Here are the relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s MediaBuzz on January 15:

FNC’s MediaBuzz
January 15, 2017
11:44 a.m. Eastern

HOWARD KURTZ: Joe, what do you make of the way CNN and Jim Acosta and are pushing back. You heard him say “denial of real news.”

JOE CONCHA: Well, first of all, I want to talk about Jim Acosta’s behavior during that press conference, Howie. I wonder why Jim Acosta felt that he was entitled — more privileged than the other 250 reporters that were in that room by repeatedly yelling no more than 14 times at a President-elect, demanding that he be afforded the right to ask a question. I found that to be grandstanding and oh all by the way, another point, that John Roberts fall up on this network and no one else has talked about. CNN, that morning, around 5:45, reserved eight seats for themselves in the front row by putting reserved signs down there, effectively boxing out other news organizations that wanted that kind of access. So, CNN’s behavior here, I have to say has been — in Jim Acosta’s case, making about himself, making himself the story, and CNN — eight reservations, Howie, that’s just obnoxious.

(....)

CONCHA: Yes. I mean, President Obama, during some press conferences that he had, I did some research on this, Howie. In his first 36 solo press conferences, 22 of those 36 times he did not call upon Fox News, the number one rated cable news network in the country. So, when we hear CNN talking about, well, you know, I want to be able to ask a question, they are going to be treated probably the same way by Donald Trump the way President Obama treated Fox News with disdain or in this case, conservative media with that Daily Caller reporter. So, it’s pretty interesting stuff that Fox was only able to ask 14 questions in President Obama’s first 36 press conferences —

KURTZ: OK.

CONCHA: — that maybe something that CNN has to get used to.

KURTZ: But doesn’t CNN have a point that what it did was very, very different from BuzzFeed did. It didn’t publish any details from this salacious unsubstantiated document. It did say accurately that President-elect had been told about it by, it turns out the FBI director or let’s say intelligence officials generally.

CONCHA: They were much more cautious and we should applaud CNN for that, but would I have gone ahead with that story in the first place? I don’t know, Howie. I — it gave BuzzFeed the green light to say, hey, all that cryptic stuff that CNN is reporting, hey, here it all is in its 35-page dossier. And I go back and look at timing also, Howie, around Donald Trump and interesting information getting out before big events. Before the first presidential debate — magically — in a New York Times reporter’s mailbox his 1995 tax returns just happen to show up.

KURTZ: Right.

CONCHA: And then before the second presidential debate the Access Hollywood tape magically shows up in a Washington Post’s reporter’s mailbox as well and now one day before his press conference — highly anticipated — this information is suddenly reported getting out when every news organization had it for months. I question the timing and I would look to Thursday to see what other surprise news event is going to happen the day before the inauguration.

KURTZ: It is worth noting that the New York Times and the Washington Post and major news organizations had this salacious dossier, did not publish it, looked into it and, you know, they made what I think the right call, which is, you don’t put on the air or publish or put on the internet anything that you cannot confirm. It’s called journalism.

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