By Joseph Wulfsohn
Published June 10, 2019
CNN Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta dismissed the idea that he seeks out the spotlight during the Trump presidency but rather he and other journalists were "thrust" into an "unprecedented situation."
Promoting his new book "The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America" on "Anderson Cooper 360," the liberal reporter began by expressing he "never anticipated" the types of battles he has had with the White House and gave an explaination as to why he wrote the book.
"I've got kids and I don't want my kings growing up in a country where the press is called 'the enemy of the people.' Not just you and I, but all of the people who are working in this room right now, all the folks who go to these campaign events," Acosta told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. "And what's happening, Anderson, is a lot of the president's supporters, not all of them, many of them are wonderful people. I have a great time with them on the campaign trail, but some of them absorb this hostility and then lash out at us in ways that make us feel endangered. And I'm worried that we're going to have a day where a journalist is going to get hurt or possibly killed, and at that point, we've crossed a line. This country has become a part of a group of nations around the world where the press is not safe to do its job. And the question that I want to ask folks with this book is, 'is that the road we want to go down as a country?'"
Cooper later mentioned the criticism Acosta has received of wanting to be "part of the story," which he didn't flatout deny.
"My response to that is that we've been thrust into sort of an unprecedented situation," Acosta said. "The president of the United States, according to the Washington Post, has made approximately 10,000 false or misleading statements since he's been president. That has put us in the position of being fact-checkers in real time and that frustrates the White House, frustrates his team, frustrates his supporters. But my goodness, can you imagine if we spent the last two years never fact-checking him and letting all these statements fly?"
Acosta previously admitted to "showboating" and "grandstanding" during White House press briefings and called for the end of "neutrality" in the media.