CNN’s Jim Acosta Says Reporters Shouldn’t Be ‘Neutral’ in ‘The Age of Trump

By Zachary Stieber

CNN White House reporter and infamous activist Jim Acosta admitted that he is not neutral in his reporting, arguing that reporters shouldn’t be neutral during President Donald Trump’s time in office.

Acosta made the recommendation in his new book “A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America,” according to the Guardian, which obtained a copy ahead of its June 11 release.

Acosta admitted that he is guilty of “grandstanding” and “showboating” while reporting, noting that he “opts for the bait” when asking questions during Trump press conferences.

He then references how some people say he is biased against the president by confirming their concerns.

President Donald Trump answers a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta during a news conference announcing Alexander Acosta as the new Labor Secretary nominee in the East Room at the White House in Washington, on Feb. 16, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“Neutrality for the sake of neutrality doesn’t really serve us in the age of Trump,” he wrote.

Acosta also repeated the lie that he did not assault a female White House intern last year even though video footage clearly showed him hitting her arm. She was trying to take a microphone away after he refused to stop asking Trump questions, bucking press protocol.

Acosta often makes statements that are opinions. In this case, he said that a migrant caravan violently crossing borders on its way to the United States “was not an invasion” while claiming that that the migrants would not climb over barriers to enter the country. Just weeks later, migrants tore down parts of the barrier separating the U.S. and Mexico while trying to storm the border.

Acosta’s press pass was taken after his actions. It was later restored.

Trump and Acosta in White House
A White House staff member steps in to try to take the microphone away from CNN’s Jim Acosta as he questions President Donald Trump during a news conference at the White House in Washington, on Nov. 7, 2018. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Trump and Acosta
President Donald Trump answers CNN reporter Jim Acosta during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Nov. 7, 2018. (Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

Acosta was back in the limelight several times this year.

In February, for instance, he accused Trump of “concocting” a national emergency at the border, despite many experts noting the flood of illegal immigrants poses serious national security and humanitarian concerns.

Acosta also dismissed the so-called angel moms at the press conference, saying their children had been “allegedly killed” by illegal aliens. The mothers confronted Acosta and he ended up inviting them to appear on air with him.

A CNN employee recently told Fox News, one of CNN’s rivals, that Acosta is essentially a pundit masquerading as a reporter.

CNN correspondent Jim Acosta speaks to relatives of victims killed by illegal immigrants after President Donald Trump spoke on border security during a Rose Garden event at the White House in Washington on Feb. 15, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Jim Acosta is, a lot of times, asking the right questions but it doesn’t always need to be about him and his grandstanding,” the CNN staffer said. “People get tired of it. Acosta is supposed to be a correspondent reporting the facts but you can’t tell the difference between him and a paid pundit.”

Another reporter who covers the White House for a news organization said that Acosta’s actions have affected other people.

“I support reporters—even irredeemably biased ones—having access to the White House,” the reporter said. “But Acosta should consider how his behavior affects the rest of the press corps, who are there to be taken seriously and report the news rather than to boost their own celebrity.”