Pile On: Sean Spicer Torches CNN's Acosta As A Clueless, Classless Carnival Barker

Posted: Mar 07, 2018 3:00 PM

Cortney wrote about Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders ripping CNN’s Jim Acosta, who complained that his network hasn’t been allowed to ask questions at the White House briefings. 

“Third press briefing in a row that @PressSec [Sanders] did not take a question from CNN,” tweeted Acosta.

“Courage isn’t taking “a question from CNN,” Jim. Courage is combat veterans Sgt. Peck and Staff Sgt. Dwyer - the two heroes at the briefing. #itsnotaboutyou,” replied Sanders on Twitter. It seems that being the Trump White House’s punching bag is becoming a hallmark characteristic of Acosta—and not in a good way. 

This isn’t the first time the CNN reporter has been thrown against the wall like a beanbag. President Trump straight up told him to get out of the Oval Office when he tried to ask him a question about immigration during a photo op with the President of Kazakhstan in January. Of course, it was about the “s**thole countries” remark Trump reportedly made during a meeting with Democrats and Republicans, as they tried to hash out a deal on how to fix those enrolled in the constitutionally questionable Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program:

JIM ACOSTA, CNN: Mr. President, did you say that you want more people to come in from Norway?  Did you say that you wanted more people coming in from Norway?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much.

ACOSTA: Is that true, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I want them to come in from everywhere — everywhere.  Thank you very much, everybody.

ACOSTA: Just the Caucasian or white countries, sir?  Or do you want people to come in from other parts of the world?


In December, Acosta said that Sanders warned him that he would be banned from future White House pool sprays if he tried to ask Trump questions when told not to do so. Acosta tried to ask Trump what he meant by saying that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) “would do anything" for donations. Some took this as a sexist swipe when in actuality; Trump has said that about pretty much everyone. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was a target of this phrase.  Trump was signing the National Defense Authorization Act at the time.

Now, a new study from the Media Research Center shows that the Trump presidency has received overwhelmingly negative coverage thus far in 2018 (via Newsbusters):

So far, 2018 looks an awful lot like 2017 — at least when it comes to the broadcast networks’ hostile approach to Donald Trump. A Media Research Center analysis of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts in January and February found ten times more negative comments about the President than positive statements, and found the ongoing Russia investigation once again swamped all other topics.

For this study, MRC analysts looked at all 505 evening news stories that mentioned President Trump or his administration in January and February. Out of 851 total minutes of airtime devoted to the administration, the networks spent almost one-fourth of it (204 minutes, or 24%) on the Russia investigation, eclipsing other major topics such as the economy, immigration reform, and even the gun debate.

Since Trump took office on January 20, 2017, the three broadcast evening newscasts have spent a combined 1,438 minutes on the Russia investigation, accounting for more than one out of every five minutes (21%) of coverage of the Trump presidency.

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and The Hill’s Joe Concha appears on Hannity to discuss this report, where Concha noted that other less partisan outlets, like Pew, have also noted the negative news coverage of the Trump White House. Yet, Spicer also added to the Acosta pile on, torching the CNN reporter as a clueless carnival barker (via Fox News Insider):

Spicer ripped Acosta, calling him the "carnival barker in the press room."

He agreed with Sanders' tweet in response to the 46-year-old reporter, which said that "courage" is not the act of taking a question from him, but was instead personified in the wounded veterans that were at the day's briefing.

"[Acosta] is both clueless and classless," Spicer said.

"Because Jim Acosta didn't get his precious question, which I'm sure would've amounted to screaming and yelling at something absurd, he feels as though [Sanders] showed a lack of courage," Spicer said.

He said the two veterans, John Peck and Liam Dwyer, were both wounded in Iraq, sought treatment and reenlisted - later being further wounded in battle.

"That, Mr. Acosta, is courage," Spicer said.

Concha added that the Obama White House boxed Fox News out during these press conferences, only being called on 14 times in the first four years of his presidency. 

Sounds like a subtle way of telling Mr. Acosta to get over it. Also, CNN will get to ask questions--it just may not every time for them.

Flashback: Let’s also not forget when Sanders took a jab at Acosta last month over his network’s ratings. 

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