CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta on Thursday hesitated to say "s—hole" even as it was written on the channel's chyron directly below him on screen.
Reporting on the White House's response to a Washington Post report that President Donald Trump referred to some immigrants being from "s—hole countries" in an Oval Office meeting Thursday, Acosta had trouble using the word reported. He stopped short at first, saying "s—hole," before using the actual word.
"The president is referring to Haiti and countries in Africa as being–and I notice you, Wolf, hesitated to use that word. I hesitate to use it myself—as an s—hole, or a [s—hole] is the word that the Washington Post is quoting the president as saying," Acosta said.
Acosta said he does not want to "dance around" Trump's "problem" in the area of race relations, and he expressed pain at saying the word Trump used.
"The president seems to harbor racist feelings about people of color from other parts the world," Acosta added. "It's just a terrible thing to have come out of your mouth as a White House correspondent or as a journalist."
The White House issued a response to the Post‘s report that does not explicitly deny the quote. The statement mentions Trump "welcoming those who can contribute to our society" and not wanting to "undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway."
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 11, 2018
Twitter users were quick to point out CNN's chyron.
CNN running with the uncensored chyron pic.twitter.com/24oBOd19ox
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) January 11, 2018
— Travis Lupick (@tlupick) January 11, 2018
Cable news anchors/contributors: for the love of God, just say "SHITHOLES". It's vital, not offensive, to report that Trump used this phrase. "S holes" sounds stupid and it isn't immediately obvious what it means (sinkholes???). [At least CNN have the full word on their chyron.]
— Frankie Taggart (@frankietaggart) January 11, 2018
CNN's use of "s—hole" contrasts with the offense that its daytime host Brooke Baldwin took at the word "boobs" last year. Baldwin did not tolerate guest Clay Travis saying that word, which she spelled out by saying "B-O-O-B-S."
Sooo let me get this straight. @CNN's Acosta, Avlon, Tapper, and friends are saying "shithole" left and right because of mean old Trump, BUT Brooke Baldwin was so painfully hurt and offended by @ClayTravis saying "boobs?" Give me a break, @CNN #TTT pic.twitter.com/4qwOgdxNts
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 11, 2018