Reporter Jim Acosta says too many Americans can’t see through President Trump’s “act” because they “don’t have all their faculties.”
CNN’s chief White House correspondent and network colleague April Ryan sat down with Variety this week to discuss reporting on the White House in an era of “fake news” accusations. The network duo expressed concern that Mr. Trump and his rhetorical “tentacles” will cause “anarchy” around the globe.
“Fake news, by the president saying this, is not just a simply or cute little statement for some,” Ms. Ryan said in a taped interview published Tuesday. “This has tentacles that is reaching overseas. I’ve heard from European leaders who are saying it can really destabilize democracies. They are very concerned about this fake news issue. Think about it. When you are in a country and your citizenry thinks that you’re fake, thinks that what the news is saying is fake, there can be anarchy some kind of way. It causes a destabilization of democracies. There’s tentacles to what this president is saying. … We are a part of the pillars of this nation.”
Mr. Acosta then lamented what he perceives as a large-scale intellectual void afflicting the population.
“The problem is that people around the country don’t know it’s an act,” the reporter said. “They’re not in on the act, and they take what he says very seriously, and they take attacks from [former White House press secretary] Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders and what they do to us on a daily basis very seriously. They don’t have all their faculties in some cases — their elevator might not hit all floors. My concern is that a journalist is going to be hurt one of these days.”
Mr. Costa also cited his support for daily White House press briefings, which he says expose actual “lies” by the administration.
“The press briefings serve a useful purpose,” Mr. Acosta told the magazine. “We have to ask the leader of the free world, or the representatives of the free world, what the hell is going on. … I want all of that on TV … their evasions, their lies, their falsehoods.”