CNN’s White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, appeared on CBS Sunday Morning to discuss his new book The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America and what it’s like to cover the Trump White House.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 13, 2018
Interviewer Chip Reid asked Acosta about some of the criticism Acosta has received even from his own colleagues, who say that his “grandstanding” provokes Trump and is sometimes unprofessional. Although others say that standing up to Trump and his spokespeople is necessary in this age of nationalist ideologies and the harms they cause, others have called Acosta out for making press conferences more a show of which he is the star. The CNN correspondent dismissed such criticisms.
‘I know folks are going to say that. I look at it as I’m doing my job. I see this as a very serious, serious moment in our nation’s history. And I think, to some extent, we have been trying to figure out the best way to cover this president…I think I’ve found the best way for me.’
In a signed declaration submitted along with today's lawsuit, @Acosta wrote that he and his family have had to take "additional security measures" after receiving death threats "regularly, aimed at my work covering the president." https://t.co/n6Gay8zcKk
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 13, 2018
Some of the more poignant moments in the interview came when Acosta addressed the threats to the lives of news journalists who have been targeted by Trump. Most notably, the Trump supporter from Florida sent pipe bombs to the CNN news offices as well as prominent Democrats, using phrases lifted directly from Trump’s public statements and tweets like “enemy of the people” to justify his rage.
‘The man who sent the pipe bombs to CNN and other Democratic targets in the fall of 2018, on his social media account, he was directing death threats at me. Something along the lines of, “You’re next. You’re the enemy of America,” and so on. And so, my sense of it is that what started off as an act for the president, calling us “fake news,” calling us the ‘enemy of the people’ and so on, has gotten out of control. And they don’t know how to reel it back in.’
"I actively get death threats just for asking questions." White House correspondents Jim @Acosta, @AprilDRyan, and @AshleyRParker talk the hazards of the job https://t.co/jCzj187bGw pic.twitter.com/LABmrMiYMW
— Variety (@Variety) April 24, 2018
Although many notable moments from Trump’s presidency may be recalled in history as shocking and unprecedented, Acosta said the most defining moment for him came following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, when Trump referred to people marching alonside neo-Nazis as “very fine people.”
‘I think that that was a very important moment, not just for the press, but for the American people. I don’t believe that there are two sides to a story when it’s a matter of right versus wrong. It just doesn’t work that way. And I think that in this era, reporters have been thrust into a position where, you know, we are not only calling balls and strikes, but we are calling fouls.’
For the full segment, see video below:
Featured image screenshot via YouTube