Following yet another stunt for the cameras during which he attempted to coerce the White House Press Secretary into declaring that the media is not the ‘enemy of the people,’ CNN reporter Jim Acosta appeared on the network and complained that he is “tired” of being called fake news by the President and Trump supporters.
Acosta stormed out of a press briefing on Thursday because Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to play along with his games.
Sanders declined to pander to Acosta, and lectured him in the process.
“It’s ironic, Jim, that not only you and the media attack the president for his rhetoric when they frequently lowered the level of conversation in this country. Repeatedly, repeatedly the media restarts personal attacks without any content other than to incite anger,” Sanders said.
“The media continues to ratchet up the verbal assault against the president and everyone in this administration. And certainly we have a role to play, but the media has to role to play for the discourse in this country as well.” Sanders added, before Acosta took his ball and went home.
In a later tweet, Acosta doubled down, calling Sanders “shameful” and declaring that he was “saddened” by the exchange.
I walked out of the end of that briefing because I am totally saddened by what just happened. Sarah Sanders was repeatedly given a chance to say the press is not the enemy and she wouldn't do it. Shameful.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 2, 2018
In a further bizarre appearance on CNN, Acosta even suggested that the media should form a protest group and march on the White House:
“I’ll say that the press is not the enemy of the people,” Acosta said. “And, you know, I think maybe we should make some bumper stickers, make some buttons, you know, maybe we should go out on Pennsylvania Avenue like these folks who chant ‘CNN Sucks’ and ‘Fake News,’ maybe we should go out, all journalists, should go out on Pennsylvania Avenue and chant, ‘We’re not the enemy of the people.'”
“Because I’m tired of this,” he continued, telling host Brooke Baldwin “It is not right. It is not fair. It is not just. It is un-American to come out here and call the press the enemy of the people.”
“It would be nice if we all lowered the temperature a little bit but at the very least, I think we should all be able to agree on one thing, and that is the press is not the enemy of the people. Fellow Americans are not the enemy of fellow Americans, and, you know, forgive me for going on a rant, but I think that they’ve lost sight of that here at this White House.” Acosta ranted.
Acosta’s performance prompted Fox News host Sean Hannity to renew their back and forth from earlier in the week, with Hannity calling Acosta “the king of lies” and “king of fake news.”
Hannity noted that Acosta has, several times, accused Trump of inciting violence against the media.
“The fact that the people of this country are so fed up with their bias, their lying is not a call for violence at all,” Hannity said. “As a matter of fact, it’s actually freedom of speech and our duty to call out blatant lies, fake news for what it is. And it’s no surprise that you, the American people, no longer trust the so-called mainstream media.”
Hannity noted during his monologue that while real violence and harassment is happening on the streets every day, “saying that you’re a liar and calling out fake news is only words” and is not a call for violence.