CNN Media Unit Tries to Turn Jim Acosta's Gaffe Apple Into a Banana In Fighting Fox

Curtis Houck ably locked it down yesterday on how absurd it was for CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta to claim he was taken out of context when he said "people around the country" don't understand Donald Trump calling the media (especially CNN) "Fake News" is an "act."

Try not to miss the official CNN Media Unit doubling down with Acosta, claiming despite the actual quote that Fox is taking Acosta out of context. This is the actual quote: 

ACOSTA: The problem is that people around the country don’t know it’s an act. They’re not in on the act and they take what he says very seriously and they take attacks from Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders and what they do to us on a daily basis very seriously. They don’t have all their faculties in some cases — their elevator might not hit all floors.  My concern is that a journalist is going to be hurt one of these days.

Acosta is right that he did not say "Trump voters." He was much broader than that. He said "people around the country." He may have meant "some violent idiots," but that is plainly not what he said. So Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy tried to claim the apple was a banana. 

In his overnight newsletter, Stelter ran an item headlined "Fox twists Acosta's words about threats to journalists: In this Variety mag interview, Jim Acosta referenced the 'conservative meat grinder.' This story is a perfect illustration of it." 

So the same network that took an unrecorded, anonymously sourced tip about Trump saying "s---hole countries" and blew it up into 195 on-air profanities in one day is going to lecture about someone else playing fast and loose with quotes and context?

Oliver Darcy's story was also headlined "Fox News twists CNN's Acosta's words about threats to journalists".

Here's how you know Darcy is making a banana cream pie out of the apple of Acosta's quote. He doesn't use it. The only place it appeared in its entirety was in a reproduction of Acosta's tweet. Notice how he chops the transcripts into little banana slices of two words: 

Speaking to Variety magazine about what it's like to cover the Trump White House, Acosta commented on the threats journalists doing so often face. He remarked that individuals who might send such threats to reporters "don't know" that the "fake news" attacks from Trump and his allies are "an act."

"They don't have all their faculties in some cases, their elevator might not hit all floors," Acosta said. "My concern is that a journalist is going to be hurt one of these days. Somebody's going to get hurt."

But Fox News and other pro-Trump media organizations twisted Acosta's comments to suggest he was saying Trump voters are not smart.

The funniest part of Darcy's story is this: "A spokesperson for CNN declined to comment beyond Acosta's tweet." As if Darcy and Stelter aren't the actual CNN public-relations attempt on this story?

This network should never lecture anyone else about transparency, or being "Facts First."


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW
CNN Jim Acosta Brian Stelter Donald Trump
Tim Graham's picture