Acosta: 'When Journalists Are Attacked, Journalists Have to Resist'

CNN's Jim Acosta / Getty
December 4, 2017

CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta on Monday continued to vocally criticize President Donald Trump and his attacks on the media. 

During the inaugural Poynter Journalism Ethics Summit, which is "intended to focus on strengthening political reporting and increasing trust in the media," Acosta commented on his behavior while reporting, behavior that has been criticized by some of his own CNN colleagues. 

Acosta seemed to speak for all reporters, saying they are not part of the "resistance," but added, "When journalists are attacked, journalists have to resist."

Trump began calling CNN "fake news" while on the campaign trail, and continued his fight on Twitter and during speaking engagements after taking office. Acosta, meanwhile, has continued to gain attention for repeated outbursts during press conferences. Some colleagues see his behavior as indicative of an effort to obtain his own opinion show, as opposed to being straight reporting. 

After Acosta clashed with White House advisor Stephen Miller in August over immigration policy, MSNBC "Morning Joe" host and vocal Trump critic Joe Scarborough sided with Miller, saying Acosta's Antics were "like something out of Mein Kampf."

"Where things seemed to really meltdown was when Jim Acosta talked, and we're certainly not putting this on Jim Acosta … You can watch the clip and choose sides," Scarborough said. "But when Jim Acosta used the language, ‘it seems like your policies are trying to engineer racial and ethnic percentages' or something, it sure sounded like something that you would read out of Mein Kampf or something … at that point, it went off the rails."

The CNN correspondent also criticized Trump for hosting a "fake news conference" in July during a trip to Warsaw, Poland where the president once again called CNN "fake news." Shortly before, Acosta claimed the president's remarks would lead to a "journalist being hurt," Mediaite reported.

"We have to stand up to this. We have to confront this and say that it’s wrong," he said. "My concern is, and I know it’s shared by others, is that this kind of rhetoric, this kind of behavior is going to lead to a journalist being hurt. That’s the thing I worry about."

The press secretary at the time, Sean Spicer, said Acosta's conduct was "‘hurting the profession."

"He’s recognized that if you make a spectacle on the air then you’ll get more airtime and more clicks," Spicer told the Washington Post. "If I were a mainstream, veteran reporter, I’d be advocating for him to knock it off. It’s hurting the profession."