Reporter Jim Acosta wanted to talk about media bias at President Trump’s tax anniversary event on Friday — even if it elicited bewildered looks and shushes from attendees.
CNN’s chief White House correspondent was caught on video shouting at Mr. Trump as guests in the East Room of the White House celebrated December 2017’s tax reform legislation.
“Mr. President, will you stop calling us the enemy of the people, sir? Will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people, sir? Mr. President, will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people,” he repeatedly asked in video published by Politico.
White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs noted that the crowd reacted to Mr. Acosta’s behavior by amplifying their claps and cheers for the occasion.
“Trump didn’t appear to hear any of the questions we called out to him at the end of the tax reform anniversary event,” she tweeted. “Notably, when the very friendly audience realized reporters were yelling to Trump, they increased the volume of their applause and whooping to override the press.”
“We also had a few folks who shushed [us] in the audience,” the CNN reporter replied. “Of course we are not going to be shushed.”
Mr. Trump told the audience that Republicans helped usher in an “economic miracle” by signing the legislation six months ago.
“At last, our country finally has a tax system that is pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family and pro-America,” Mr. Trump said.
Readers told Politico that Mr. Acosta’s behavior was not helping the image of CNN as a biased news organization to millions of Americans.
“Acosta should be putting pressure on his company and other news organizations to be more impartial,” one reader responded. “Sticking to fair and balanced journalism is how to combat that perception about the press.”
“The #MediaBias is bloated with self importance … And, EVERYBODY knows it but you hacks of course,” added another.
Mr. Trump’s critics contended that his “fake news” accusations were somehow responsible for Thursday’s shotgun massacre in Annapolis, Maryland, which killed five and wounded multiple others.
Suspect Jarrod W. Ramos, 38, was arrested after the Capital Gazette killings and charged with five counts of first-degree murder. The man had a long-running feud — including a failed 2012 legal battle — with the newspaper.