CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s admission he will approach a Biden White House in a less adversarial fashion shows he’s brought a “personal vendetta” to his reporting on the Trump administration, Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz told “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday.
“Jim Acosta got a book deal and a little bit of fame by constantly trashing President Trump, debating him rather than questioning him, and pushing his own agenda,” Kurtz told Jon Scott on Wednesday. “For him now to tell ‘The Atlantic,’ among other quotes, that the Trump presidency was a ‘nonstop national emergency,’ and that he couldn’t stomach the president’s attacks on the press, really shows that, for Jim Acosta, this has been a personal vendetta.”
Treating Biden differently only supports his point, Kurtz said.
“Now to say that the Biden presidency will be approached differently, it’s not very hard to crack that code,” Kurtz added. “Acosta, and there will be others, I assure you, that have no intention of aggressively covering the Biden tenure.”
“I don’t think the press should be trying to whip up the Biden presidency and turn it into must-see TV in a contrived way,” Acosta told the outlet. “If being at the White House is not an experience that might merit hazard pay … then perhaps it is going to be approached differently.”
Acosta made the comments in a recent article titled “The Resistance’s Breakup With the Media Is at Hand.” Acosta, who published a book titled “The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America” in 2019, also spoke out against Trump in the piece.
“You can’t just go and trash the press and totally lie to the American people and tell them real news is fake news,” Acosta said. “I couldn’t stomach it.”
Kurtz also reacted to comments by Olivia Nuzzi, who told The Atlantic that reporting critically may be more difficult once Biden takes office.
“It didn’t really require any special bravery to report honestly and critically on Donald Trump,” Nuzzi told the outlet. “On a purely social level, I don’t know that reporting critically on Joe Biden will feel as safe for reporters.”
Kurtz echoed Nuzzi’s comments, arguing that those who have been critical of Trump “got hailed by the resistance.”
“You got cable news contracts, you got big Twitter followings” for criticizing Trump, Kurtz said. “You’ll get blowback if you’re a reporter who then goes very hard at President-elect Joe Biden, from your newfound liberal fans, who liked it when you did that to Donald Trump.”
Ultimately, Kurtz cautioned reporters who plan to go easier on Biden.
“President Trump has been very challenging to cover through years of controversy and chaos,” Kurtz said. “I understand that, especially during this period when he’s contesting the election results. If the journalists just take a much softer approach to Joe Biden, that will prove to everybody that it really wasn’t about the people involved, it was about the ideology.”