CNN’s Acosta Regrets the Media Are Not More Hostile to Trump

The liberal media are certainly not “the enemy of the people”, as President Trump often suggests, but they do operate as though they’re part of an opposition party in how viciously they cover him. Now, during a vomit-inducing interview with his CNN colleague Brian Stelter to promote his new book The Enemy of the People, CNN chief White House correspondent and showboater Jim Acosta said he regretted how the media wasn’t more hostile against the President.

Towards the end of the “Reliable Sources” interview, Stelter wondered: “Do you have any regrets? Do you have any regrets? You said some White House aides do. Do you have any regrets?”

Do I have any regrets? You know, I wish at times that the press had been a bit more in solidarity with one another. And standing up to this White House and saying listen, ‘You know, the President can't call us the enemy of the people. We’re not going to go along with that,’” Acosta declared. “I think we’ve missed some opportunities here and there to challenge that.” Notice he’s not talking about reporting here, but rather confronting the President about nicknames.

Acosta then opined about how “grateful” he was for all the support he received from other media outlets during CNN’s lawsuit against the White House following his press pass getting pulled:

I will say, one thing I'm most grateful for during this experience is how just about every news organization in Washington and here in New York stood behind us here at CNN when they took away my press pass. That was a very important first amendment case. And I talk about it in the book. Had the Trump administration won that case, Brian, it would have sent shockwaves through our industry. It would have put a real chilling effect on the First Amendment in this country.

 

 

At no point did Acosta say he regretted being a showboater and grandstander in the White House briefing room (or elsewhere).

His habit of grandstanding showed up once again when he put the press on a pedestal and proclaimed: “We're not just here to report the news. We're here also to defend the truth.” Then, after using The Washington Post’s claim that the President had said “10,000 false or misleading statements since the beginning of his administration”, he asserted that the press was more of a check on the President than Congress was.

To Stelter’s credit, he did ask Acosta about the silliness of his book’s title: “The Enemy of The People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America.” Channeling critics, Stelter wondered: “If this was a dangerous time to tell the truth in America you wouldn't be able to write a book about it?

Acosta fell back onto the disgusting assertion that Trump had created an environment that could get journalists killed (click “expand”):

Well, I don't want it to become a more dangerous time. And as you and I both know, Brian, we had a pipe bomb delivered to CNN’s headquarters last fall. And as I laid out in this book, I received a number of death threats. I’m not the only one. A number of news anchors reporters who cover this President on a daily basis receive death threats. And, you know, we don't know how serious they are. It could just be people out there venting their frustrations and I get that. We all get mad about what we see on the news on a daily basis. (…) [A]nd the question is whether or not somebody crosses that line and does something that hurts somebody or perhaps kills a journalist.

At the top of the interview, Acosta proclaimed that he wrote the book to essentially make America a better place for his kids and future generations. “I did not want my children to grow up in a country where the press is called the enemy of the people,” he lamented. “Brian you and I have grown up in a country in the last several decades here where, you know, Republicans, Democrats wanted to be in power in Washington, but they didn't demonize us to this extent.

Gag. This is CNN.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s Reliable Sources
June 9, 2019
11:41:59 a.m. Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: It is one of the President's most poisonous phrases: the enemy of the people. He's used the phrase more than 30 times on Twitter. Usually attacking news outlets like CNN. Most recently just a few hours ago. It's tiresome, yeah, but still damaging, casting fellow Americans as enemies.

Well, it is also a phrase CNN’s White House correspondent, Jim Acosta is now reclaiming. He's out this Tuesday with a new book entitled The Enemy of The People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America. The book is out on Tuesday. Jim Acosta is here now for his first live interview all about it. Jim Acosta chief White House correspondent for CNN, why write a book about your experience?

JIM ACOSTA: Well, I wanted to send a message, you know, to folks who really care about what we do and the message is basically this. I did not want my children to grow up in a country where the press is called the enemy of the people. Brian you and I have grown up in a country in the last several decades here where, you know, Republicans, Democrats wanted to be in power in Washington, but they didn't demonize us to this extent. And I think it's gotten -- I think it started off as an act based on my reporting that the president threw out “fake news” and “the enemy of the people” just to sort of taunt and troll us.

(…)

STELTER: Some of your critics say, “If this was a dangerous time to tell the truth in America you wouldn't be able to write a book about it?” What do you say to them?

ACOSTA: Well, I don't want it to become a more dangerous time. And as you and I both know, Brian, we had a pipe bomb delivered to CNN’s headquarters last fall. And as I laid out in this book, I received a number of death threats. I’m not the only one. A number of news anchors reporters who cover this President on a daily basis receive death threats. And, you know, we don't know how serious they are. It could just be people out there venting their frustrations and I get that. We all get mad about what we see on the news on a daily basis.

STELTER: But some are serious. There have been arrests in some cases.

ACOSTA: That’s right and the question is whether or not somebody crosses that line and does something that hurts somebody or perhaps kills a journalist.

(…)

11:22:35 a.m. Eastern

STELTER: Do you have any regrets? Do you have any regrets? You said some White House aides do. Do you have any regrets?

ACOSTA: Do I have any regrets? You know, I wish at times that the press had been a bit more in solidarity with one another. And standing up to this White House and saying listen, “You know, the President can't call us the enemy of the people. We’re not going to go along with that.” I think we’ve missed some opportunities here and there to challenge that.

I will say, one thing I'm most grateful for during this experience is how just about every news organization in Washington and here in New York stood behind us here at CNN when they took away my press pass. That was a very important first amendment case. And I talk about it in the book. Had the Trump administration won that case, Brian, it would have sent shockwaves through our industry. It would have put a real chilling effect on the First Amendment in this country.

And people might say, “Oh, you're just puffing yourself up. You're high on your own fumes.” No Trump administration’s own lawyers went into the courtroom and said the president of the United States can throw out whoever he wants out of the White House. And we just couldn't have a situation like that.

And so, I was really grateful – talk about regrets – one of the things I’m most grateful for is almost our entire industry stood behind us during that time. And had they not, I think it could have worked out a different way. And so I think, you know, it hasn't been perfect. We're all grappling with, how do we cover this president?

My sense of it is that we have to stand for the truth. We're not just here to report the news. We're here also to defend the truth. And when you have a president who has made, you know, 10,000 false or misleading statements since the beginning of his administration, you know that makes us fact checkers in real-time.

Puts us in a position, unlike Republicans who controlled the government for two years, sort of makes the for the fourth estate, the press, the check on a presidency that sometimes goes outside the bounds of normal presidential behavior.

(…)

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