CNN, the cable news network hardly known for putting any Republican president in the limelight, is now suggesting that its competitor Fox News is controlled by the Trump White House, referring to it as “a beast with many heads.”
The accusation came Tuesday from CNN’s Jim Acosta, the reporter made famous for his high-profile clashes with President Trump, whom the commander in chief has personally labeled “fake news.”
Acosta claimed Fox News is a type of “state TV” during an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt radio broadcast, as Acosta was promoting his book, “Enemy of the People.”
During a discussion about journalism, Hewitt said, “Many of us are opinion journalists, some of us are straight news journalists, other people move back and forth. None of us are in the business of state TV, which is the old Pravda. None of us get script from the government, none of us do that.”
“You don’t think they get scripts?” Acosta interjected.
“You don’t think they get a script that night when they come on? You don’t think that they’re reading from talking points that are almost identical from what the White House wants out that day?”
“Absolutely not. Do you think they actually get a script from the White House, Jim?” responded Hewitt.
Acosta said: “It sounds like that’s the case. We hear the same talking points from the surrogates that we hear on their show night after night. It certainly sounds that way.”
Hewitt fired back, saying: “Well, Jim, when I say something like I want the 9th Circuit to be filled with originalists and I appreciate the president’s Supreme Court nominees and his 43 Circuit Court nominees, that is something the White House says, but it’s something I’ve held for 30 years. Does that make it a less legitimate point of view that the president happens to agree with something I’ve been arguing for for 30 years?”
“Absolutely not and we need to hear from all sides,” said Acosta. “We’re committed to that over at CNN.” I’ve always been committed to that throughout my career.”
He continued: “There are some folks out there who are toeing the company line, toeing there administration’s line and shooting spitballs and not willing to defend themselves and not willing to meet somebody face to face and work out those disagreements in person.”
Regarding Trump’s claim that CNN and Acosta himself are “fake news,” Acosta noted: “Obviously, we’re not fake news, Hugh. We’re very much real news.”
“I think there’s a real difference between what we do and what they [at Fox] do.”
Acosta concluded: “As I’ve described Fox on many occasions, it’s sometimes a beast with many heads. There are folks over there like [Sean] Hannity and [Tucker] Carlson for sure. But there are also terrific people over there, people who are working in tough places, and I understand that.”
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