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One of CNN’s most recognized political reporters says that being neutral when covering President Donald Trump “doesn’t really serve us.”
CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who has battled repeatedly with Trump, uses his new book “The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America” to portray Trump’s war on the establishment media as an act that later morphed into reality, according to excerpts published by The Guardian.
Acosta’s book cites plenty of unnamed sources.
For example, he cites what he calls a “senior White House official” as telling him at one point, “The president’s insane.”
The book also claims that a “former White House national security official” told Acosta that staffers were not certain Trump had not been “compromised” by Russia.
Acosta admits in the book that his style of dealing with Trump includes “grandstanding” and “showboating.”
In questioning Trump, the CNN reporter wrote that he “opts for the bait,” even though that “bothers some people”.
And in addressing the issue of bias against Trump, Acosta makes it clear where he stands.
“Neutrality for the sake of neutrality doesn’t really serve us in the age of Trump,” he wrote.
The comment irked former CNN reporter Dylan Byers.
“There are a lot of really, really hardworking journalists at CNN who strive to be fair, impartial, responsible journalists and I’m guessing some of them aren’t crazy about this from Acosta,” he tweeted.
There are a lot of really, really hardworking journalists at CNN who strive to be fair, impartial, responsible journalists and I’m guessing some of them aren’t crazy about this from @Acosta >> https://t.co/DaLNgI4whg
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) May 28, 2019
Others also found fault with the book’s excerpts and Acosta’s approach.
“Acosta admits he’s not a reporter. He’s not a serious author either,” conservative talk show host Mark Levin tweeted.
Acosta admits he’s not a reporter. He’s not a serious author either. https://t.co/ZuAAtbJWfn
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) May 29, 2019
— Dan Condley (@DanCondley) May 24, 2019
Acosta’s contention that the president’s initial jousting with the media, including an early 2017 news conference during which Trump called Acosta and CNN “fake news,” was an act is based on what his book says was a Hope Hicks phone call on the day of that event.
Acosta’s book said Hicks, then an aide to Trump, called Acosta to convey a message that Trump thought the reporter was “very professional today.”
“He said, ‘Jim gets it,’” the book quoted Hicks as saying.
“When he called us ‘fake news’ it was, in his mind, an act,” Acosta wrote.
However, Acosta suggested that by the spring of 2019, the act had become reality.
According to Acosta, Trump continued to attack the media after the report by Robert Mueller, who was appointed special counsel in May 2017, cleared the president of allegations of collusion with Russia.
“Trump once again called the press ‘the enemy of the people,”‘ Acosta wrote.
He claimed that an unnamed Trump aide told him, “You guys are dead now” and wrote in the book that the comment was “referring to the mainstream media.”