By Joseph Wulfsohn
Published May 28, 2019
CNN's White House star, and frequent Trump foil, Jim Acosta has declared that media 'neutrality' is no longer a possibility under this president.
In his new book, "The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America," Acosta admits to occasionally "grandstanding” and “showboating” during White House press briefings and that he “opts for the bait."
“Neutrality for the sake of neutrality doesn’t really serve us in the age of Trump,” Acosta writes, according to excerpts from his upcoming book obtained by The Guardian.
CNN's chief White House correspondent claims in the book how high-ranking Trump administration officials trash the president with one "senior White House official" even allegedly go so far as to tell him that president "is insane". Another "former White House national security official" alleged that staffers weren't sure if the president was "compromised" by Russia, according to the excerpts.
Acosta also recalled the aftermath of a contentious February 2017 press conference where he confronted Trump about Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and the president slammed the CNN reporter, calling him "very fake news."
“When he called us ‘fake news’ it was, in his mind, an act,” Acosta says.
Acosta is facing some backlash from other journalists who object the notion that "neutrality" cannot exist in the Trump era, including MSNBC media reporter Dylan Byers.
"There are a lot of really, really hardworking journalists at CNN who strive to be fair, impartial, responsible journalists and I’m guessing some of them aren’t crazy about this from @Acosta," Byers tweeted.
It comes after one current CNN employee told Fox News that threats to the free press should obviously be taken seriously and reporters need to seek the truth and report it – but Acosta may no longer be right for the job.
“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.”
The CNNer said Acosta’s actions have resulted in some “eye rolling” around CNN, but the temperamental correspondent’s colleagues haven’t thought too much about the upcoming book.
“If we don’t have to talk about Jim Acosta, we don’t talk about Jim Acosta,” the employee added.
Acosta's new book is set to be released June 11.
Fox News' Brian Flood contributed to this report.