Best known for his coverage of the Watergate scandal more than 45 years ago, Bob Woodward is still considered an “elder statesman” by many in today’s mainstream press.
However, Woodward’s star is apparently fading since the Washington Post associate editor’s recent book -- Fear: Trump in the White House -- failed to draw enough critical acclaim or high enough sales, and his popular status took another hit on Tuesday, when he waded into the controversy between CNN and its chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta and Republican President Donald Trump.
According to an article written on Mediaite's Joe DePaolo:
In comments reported by Dylan Byers of NBC News, Bob Woodward -- speaking at the Global Financial Leadership Conference in Naples, Florida -- came out against CNN’s White House lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday morning.
The network is suing to have access restored for its chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. But Woodward believes CNN is just "taking the bait” being dangled by President Donald Trump.
“This is a negative,” Woodward is quoted as saying before he added: “Trump is sitting around saying: ‘This is great’” because we find ourselves engaging in his strategy.
“The remedy [isn’t a lawsuit],” the longtime Washington Post reporter continued. It’s “more serious reporting about what he’s doing.”
“In the news media," Woodward stated, “there has been an emotional reaction to Trump” because “too many people for Trump or against Trump have become emotionally unhinged about this.”
The 18-page document filed by CNN began:
Plaintiff Jim Acosta has been a journalist for more than two decades.
For more than five years, Acosta has been CNN’s national political correspondent and, since January 2018, he has been the network’s chief White House correspondent.
In addition, “Acosta has covered the White House since 2012 and, since 2013, has possessed press credentials -- often called a ‘hard pass’ -- that allow him regular and unescorted access to the White House and White House briefings.”
Next, the document amusingly describes Acosta as “widely reputed as a diligent and thorough reporter for one of the nation’s most respected and widely watched networks.”
The lawsuit then claims that the withdrawal of White House credentials was a ”severe and unprecedented punishment” and “the culmination of years of hostility by President Trump against CNN.”
As if the description of Acosta wasn’t humorous enough, CNN is identified as “a trusted source for news and information on television, the web and mobile devices.”
With a straight face, the document next states that “CNN reaches more individuals than any other cable television news organization in the United States, web, and mobile devices. CNN reaches more individuals than any other cable television news organization in the United States.”
The document continued:
Without a hard pass, a reporter must ask for advance approval each time he wishes to enter the White House. Such access often needs to be requested at least 24 hours in advance.
Without a hard pass, a White House correspondent simply cannot do his job.
Woodward’s stance on the situation was far different from a statement released on Tuesday by Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, who said that his organization “strongly supports” CNN’s goal in the lawsuit.
“The President of the United States should not be in the business of arbitrarily picking the men and women who cover him,” he added.
Woodward’s reaction to the conflict shows just how obsessed the people in the mainstream media have become, especially when facing a hated foe like President Trump.