CNN Reporter Jim Acosta Admits He Will Change His Coverage For Biden
Yesterday, the Atlantic ran a much talked about piece featuring mainstream media reporters explaining how they were going to change their coverage from Trump to Biden. The general idea behind it was that liberal reporters benefitted from brutal coverage of Trump, but there would be no rewards for treating Biden the same way. There are so many examples in the piece that I could easily add several hundred words of excerpts. However, these quotes from CNN’s Jim Acosta get the gist of it across.
Few reporters have been at the center of more high-profile spats with the Trump White House than CNN’s Jim Acosta. A veteran TV newsman with salt-and-pepper hair and a concerned-dad demeanor, Acosta has spent the past four years picking fights with Trump flacks in the briefing room. Once, he walked out of a press conference after then–Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to say reporters weren’t enemies of the people; on another occasion, the White House temporarily revoked his press credentials. Detractors have accused Acosta—who published a book in 2019 titled The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America—of showboating. But he insists that his on-air indignation has always been genuine. “You can’t just go and trash the press and totally lie to the American people and tell them real news is fake news,” Acosta told me. “I couldn’t stomach it.”
The drama has made him famous, but Acosta said he doesn’t expect to bring the same crusading style to his coverage of the next administration. “I don’t think the press should be trying to whip up the Biden presidency and turn it into must-see TV in a contrived way,” he said.
If that sounds like a double standard, Acosta told me it’s not partisan—it’s a matter of professional solidarity. In his view, Trump’s campaign to discredit the press has constituted a “nonstop national emergency,” one that required a defiant response. “If being at the White House is not an experience that might merit hazard pay,” he said, “then perhaps it is going to be approached differently.”
Calling a man like Acosta, whose entire existence centers around scoring partisan points and getting attention for himself, a “reporter” is a grotesque contradiction in terms. The writer of the piece, McKay Coppins, at least seems to understand how bad this looks as you’ll see from this bizarre tidbit,
But Trump’s endless media-bashing has also desensitized many news outlets to Republican accusations of bias. And while they’ve learned to tune out bad-faith criticism, they’ve also soaked up plaudits from their new fans. One cable-news anchor told me that praise from anti-Trump celebrities on Twitter has become like a “narcotic” for some of his colleagues. “It’s important to people that George Takei likes their monologue,” the anchor said, requesting anonymity to speak candidly about his peers (and presumably to avoid alienating George Takei).
Of course, that’s just it, isn’t it? Outlets like CNN claim to be neutral, but they’re so biased that they might as well be an arm of the Democratic Party. That’s why it’s easier to respect outlets like The Huffington Post or The Nation that at least don’t pretend to be unbiased than it is to respect CNN, which claims to be neutral. Incidentally, some people may be predicting that the media will switch from throwing beanballs at Trump to tossing underhanded softballs to Biden, but I suspect that the media will just choose a new villain as a Trump substitute. That villain is YOU. YOU, the people that support Trump, will be portrayed as white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and a constant danger to the country because you don’t get book deals for lying about Joe Biden’s deteriorating mental state or trying to pretend that Kamala Harris is likable. Get ready, because it’s coming.