CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s status as an unbiased reporter hangs by a thread, and, as his press briefing showdowns with Trump administrative staff grow in frequency, even his own colleagues are resigned to the fact his actions aren’t motivated by a burning desire to uncover journalistic truths.
Acosta partook in yet another press briefing skirmish on Thursday, this time with White House senior policy adviser Scott Miller over Trump’s new immigration plan. Acosta accused the Trump administration of “trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country” which Miller took issue with, saying it was “one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, and foolish things you’ve ever said.”
Regardless of personal policy stances, a source within CNN told the Washington Examiner that Acosta’s firebrand interview style is well past the point of being an attempt to hold Trump officials accountable. Instead, it is a conscious career decision.
“He’s angling to host an opinion show,” he said. “These [White House] briefings are his auditions.”
Other CNN employees told the Examiner that Acosta’s angle is evident in that he isn’t thrilling executives with his outbursts; they could be a ploy to try to get them to change things up.
“Ugh, just ugh,” a producer said when asked about Acosta.
Acosta no longer puts any effort into withholding political emphases from his questions. His line of questioning on Trump’s skills-based immigration plan was from the outset designed to spark feelings about race.
“[T]his whole notion of, ‘Well, they have to learn English before they get to the United States,'” Acosta said to Miller. “… are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?”
A veteran Washington reporter doesn’t just say something like that without knowing the cultural implications of his statement. Sadly, this type of dishonest editorializing is precisely what is expected out of political reporters in 2017.
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