In the rare event that a White House press briefing is televised, CNN’s Jim Acosta is likely to make an appearance and cause Sean Spicer or Sarah Huckabee Sanders to lose their composure, if they don’t ignore his questions. In the much-less-rare event that a press briefing is not conducted on camera, Jim Acosta is likely to be have one of the loudest, most pointed complaints. Acosta has not been shy about criticizing Sean Spicer (“just kind of useless”), the press briefings themselves (“basically pointless” or “a fake news conference”), and it’s continually drawn the ire of Spicer and the White House (and their various hangers-on in conservative media).
Acosta has responded to criticisms that he should report and not opine, but saying that he’s merely getting “tough and ask[ing] the hard questions.”
Spicer has been even more blunt in his assessments of Acosta, who seems to have really gotten under the press secretary’s skin, if this quote from the Washington Post is any indication:
“If Jim Acosta reported on Jim Acosta the way he reports on us, he’d say he hasn’t been very honest. I think he’s gone well beyond the role of reporter and steered into the role of advocate. He’s the prime example of a [reporter in a] competitive, YouTube, click-driven industry. He’s recognized that if you make a spectacle on the air then you’ll get more airtime and more clicks. . . . If I were a mainstream, veteran reporter, I’d be advocating for him to knock it off. It’s hurting the profession.”
Acosta takes lines like that and vitriol from Trump supporters in stride though. “This is the biggest story of my life. I’m like a kid in a candy store.”
According to Acosta’s defenders, his behavior is not new and his tough questions to former President Obama and his press secretary John Earnest were routinely used in RNC emails and highlighted by conservative media.
“This is not a crusade,” Acosta said. “This is not partisan. This is journalism. We’re trying to hold them to account.’”
(via Washington Post)