Fellow WH Correspondent Slams Acosta's Style: 'We're Not the Opposition Party'


It’s no secret President Donald Trump and his supporters aren’t big fans of CNN’s Jim Acosta.

The correspondent’s crude manners, obnoxious personality and endless grandstanding wore out on the sensible part of the viewing public long ago.

But it turns out some of Acosta’s colleagues have had enough of it, too.

In a new book, “Front Row at the Trump Show,” ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl has some pointed criticism for Acosta’s preferred method of performing, which — as regular watchers know — is about 50 percent preening, 50 percent pouting and 0 percent actual journalism.

Acosta’s tendency to act like a badly behaved spokesman for the Democratic National Committee has done more than drag his own credibility into the gutter.

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The reputation of his colleagues has suffered too, Karl wrote, according to Fox News.

“The surest way to undermine the credibility of the White House press corps is to behave like the political opposition,” Karl wrote, according to Fox. “Don’t give speeches from the White House briefing room.”

What gives this criticism particular impact is that Karl is no closet Trump fan masquerading as a member of the liberal media. He’s crossed swords with the president publicly before at White House briefings.

As recently as Friday, Trump warned him not to be a “cutie pie” when Karl pressed too hard during a coronavirus briefing about the availability of ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients.

Do you think Jim Acosta has damaged the mainstream media's credibility?

And a long, fawning piece published The Daily Beast on Tuesday depicted Karl as seeming to go out of his way to blame the media’s credibility problems on Trump, rather than on the profession’s practitioners. (It could also be that that’s the way the liberal Daily Beast chose to present it.)

But Karl clearly has a streak of honesty sadly lacking in too many of his national media colleagues. Conservatives who were sickened by the media during the previous administration should remember that Karl was one of the few correspondents who would at least occasionally ask tough questions of the Obama White House.

(It was nothing compared to the kind of grilling Trump handles routinely, but Karl never lowered himself to the status of abject bootlicker so much of the mainstream media seemed to actually enjoy.)

And that came out in his Daily Beast interview, too.

“Regarding Jim Acosta, to paraphrase Voltaire, I will defend to the death his right to report from the White House, but I have some issues with the style in which he has done so,” he told the website.

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“We can be tough, we can call out things that are not true, we can be aggressive in our questioning, but I don’t think we should act like we are part of the resistance.”

With Acosta, that #Resistance boat left the dock a long time ago.

Karl made the same point in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon.

“A sub-sub theme is those of us reporters make a mistake if they appear to be too much like an opposition to the president or the resistance,” he said.

“That’s not our job. We’re not the opposition party. We’re supposed to report and report aggressively on the president, on any president, but not to go over the top.”

That would be news to the newsrooms that send divas like Acosta and his colleagues prancing onto the television screen, wasting the president’s time, and America’s time, with badgering questions that are far more annoying than illumination.

That, Karl wrote, according to Fox, is “playing into the explicit Trump strategy of portraying the press as the opposition party.”

That’s a little disingenuous — like saying a bank robber played right into authorities’ hands by sticking up a local Wells Fargo branch.

No politician running or governing as a Republican needs a strategy of portraying the media as an opposition party.

In 21st century American journalism, mainstream media correspondents, like poisonous scorpions, do what’s in their nature.

And even after Karl’s criticism, Acosta isn’t going to change his.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.