'Fair' and 'Neutral': Jim Acosta Opens Up About His Coverage of Trump

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Posted: Dec 12, 2017 3:30 PM
'Fair' and 'Neutral': Jim Acosta Opens Up About His Coverage of Trump

CNN's Jim Acosta made another splash at the White House press briefing Monday. The front row reporter confronted Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders after she accused the media of intentionally misleading their audiences about President Trump.

Acosta was offended by the remark and demanded Sanders make some clarifications. She doubled down on her initial claim and refused to acknowledge Acosta's follow up question. As it turns out, she also reportedly did not let him ask a question at Tuesday's White House press pool spray - an order he defied.

The exchange hearkened back to the days when Acosta would spar with Sean Spicer, and, before that, Trump himself. The CNN reporter has long been a favorite target of Trump's, having been one of the first to be called "fake news," before being promoted to "very fake news."

Yet, through all the name calling, Acosta believes he has done a fair job covering the Trump White House. "Fair," "neutral," and "objective," he told radio host Hugh Hewitt Tuesday.

"I want to be as neutral and as fair and as objective as I possibly can be at all times," when on the job, Acosta said. 

Does that apply to Trump, whom Acosta is often caught "snarkily tweeting?"

HH: Are you, Jim Acosta, neutral, fair and objective regarding Donald Trump?

JA: I think I am. I think I am very tough. But as I said earlier, Hugh, a different kind of president, a different kind of playbook. And let me ask you this, if I may. I’m just trying to figure out, Hugh, where is the same outrage? Where is the same sense of decency when it comes to when the President refers to us as the enemy of the people, when the President refers to us as fake news?

Hewitt disagreed with Acosta's assessment, noting that he doesn't think being both snarky and fair can fit in the same sentence. The CNN reporter responded by again defending his coverage as both "very fair" and "very tough."

Many Trump supporters would disagree, especially when it came time for Acosta to explain what he thinks President Trump has done to hurt the country.

I think what he has, I think, Hugh, what he has said about people of different faiths, people of different races, immigrants coming into this country, about journalists, cause me great concern. I am concerned about what’s happening to America. And I think America is changing. I think we are becoming a country that is not as welcoming to immigrants anymore. You have a president just last week who was retweeting anti-Muslim videos. That causes great harm to the Muslim-American community in this country who are law-abiding, faithful, yet patriotic people in this country. And it’s sad that they are denigrated in that fashion.

It is Trump, not the media, Acosta concluded, who has been caught redhanded "misleading" the American people, be it with his comments about Muslims or stoking the birther controversy about President Obama.

At the end of the interview, Acosta complained that Hewitt hadn't given him a fair amount of time to answer his questions.