CNN anchor Chris Cuomo (shown above left) and ABC News’ “The View” co-host Meghan McCain (above right) went at it on Thursday in a tense segment about CNN reporter Jim Acosta — and his controversial behavior ever since President Donald Trump entered the White House.
As most people know, Acosta clashes regularly with White House press secretary Sarah Sanders during press briefings. He’s also sparred with the president during press conferences.
The White House actually briefly pulled Acosta’s press pass after he engaged in a tense confrontation with Trump in November. Many of Acosta’s critics have accused him of throwing objectivity to the wind and offering his personal opinion as fact in his coverage of the Trump administration.
It’s been over a month since Sanders last held a press briefing; both she and Trump defended the decision this week.
Trump tweeted, “The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the ‘podium’ much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press. I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!”
The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the “podium” much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press. I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2019
Sanders said during an interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” this week, “We’re in the business of getting information to the American people, not making stars out of people that want to become contributors on CNN … And that’s a lot of times what we see take place in the briefing room. We’re more than happy to take questions, but we think that there should be a certain level of decorum and a certain level of honesty and responsibility that comes with that.”
During Cuomo’s appearance on “The View,” McCain took it upon herself to confront him about Acosta and the accusations against CNN.
“I think [Sanders is] throwing some shade at Jim Acosta, if I had to read the tea leaves on that. How do you respond?” McCain asked Cuomo.
He then took a swipe at Fox News — calling it the Trump administration’s “mothership” — before McCain doubled down.
“The Trump administration has been good for a lot of personalties, too. Jim Acosta’s going to be the first person … I would represent in this,” McCain argued. “You don’t think that it’s appropriate for anchors to opine and to know the difference between journalists and opinion makers. I’m a commentator. I’m not a journalist.”
Cuomo agreed the difference between a journalist and a commentator is “an important distinction” that’s “often blurred.”
“I also think that you can’t look at anything in the media as a monolith, even CNN,” he said. “I’m proud of the place where I work, but you can’t judge everybody at CNN the same way.” He then accused the Trump administration of telling “lies more than anything I have ever seen in public life.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this. Sarah Sanders has to own her own choices,” Cuomo declared.
Co-host Joy Behar then chimed in, demanding of McCain, “Shouldn’t the reporters be able to call [Sanders] out on the lies?”
McCain fired back, “They should. I don’t think they should want to be TV stars at the same time.” She added, “I think there are amazing journalists, by the way, at CNN … Then there’s people like Jim Acosta that make me want to change the channel.”
Although Cuomo said Acosta “doesn’t need me to defend him,” he replied, “But him testing power, him demanding accountability from power, is his job — not a popular job.”
Co-host Abby Huntsman called out Cuomo on that, noting she has heard Cuomo correct Acosta on the air.
An exasperated Behar then complained, “What is this, Hate Jim Acosta Day?”
Check out more of the awkward segment in the video below: