Jim Acosta’s strategy for selling his new book, titled “The Enemy of the People,” seems to be to just attack Fox News and the network’s hosts as often as he can.
In an interview with “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” Acosta compared Fox News to Cuban state-run television.
“[At] certain hours of the day on Fox … it is very much a house organ for the president,” Acosta said.
The CNN White House Correspondent then added, “Have we ever witnessed a situation like that, where a network essentially just serves as an amplifier of the president’s message of the day? And to some extent, focused and fixated on the conspiracy theories that he spreads. That to me is very much the definition of propaganda and state TV.”
Hewitt pushed back by bringing up Acosta’s dislike of the term “fake news” and how it is used to “delegitimize CNN.”
“You’re attempting to delegitimize the hours between 8 and 11 on Fox by calling it propaganda and state TV,” Hewitt said. “The president attempts to delegitimize CNN by calling it fake news. If you object to fake news, I don’t know how you can use propaganda. I don’t use either of them.”
“We have not seen one particular network serve as an arm of the administration,” Acosta replied.
He continued, “There have been moments on that conservative news network you’ve been asking me about where they’ve gone after me on a number of occasions. Listen, I feel as though I have a right to defend myself. And I think what you do see during those hours is not even remotely close to anything resembling the news.”
He then pinpointed Hannity and Carlson in his attacks.
“The likes of Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, they’re willing to go off on me on their shows, but they’re not willing to have me on in person to defend myself,” Acosta said. “What’s with that? If you’re so darn tough, why don’t you give me an invitation to come on your show? What I’ve found over the last few days is that they’re not willing to do that. They’re willing to shoot spitballs from the sidelines like the class clown, but they’re not willing to meet me on the schoolyard. And that’s on them.”
Acosta later moved beyond personal attacks and suggested that Carlson and Hannity receive marching orders directly from the White House.
“You don’t think they get a script that night, Hugh, when they come on?” Acosta rhetorically asked Hewitt. “You don’t think that they’re reading from talking points that are almost identical to what the White House wants that day?”
Hewitt again pushed back against Acosta and asked if he really believes Fox News hosts are reading from scripts of talking points provided to them by the current administration.
“It sounds like that’s the case,” Acosta said. “We hear the same talking points from their surrogates that we hear on their show night after night.”
In his book, Acosta accuses Hannity and Carlson of “fauxmacho man bullsh*t.” He claimed the Fox News hosts avoided a confrontation with him when they all ran into each other at an event.
“Before long, we boarded the press buses for the main event, the Trump-Putin joint news conference. As I set foot on the bus, I immediately spotted two of my biggest critics: Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, Trump’s chief propagandists at Fox, were seated on the bus, too,” wrote Acosta. “And you know what? After all their attacks on me during their prime-time “state TV” programs, they didn’t say a word to me. You’d think they would have had something to say to my face, but their fauxmacho man bullsh*t, as it turns out, seems to stop at the doors at the Fox News headquarters.”
Hannity and Carlson have both been critical of Acosta and have defended not giving him a platform on their shows.
“Sorry, I won’t subject my audience to conspiracy theory fake news,” Hannity recently wrote on Twitter about not having Acosta on. “Go hawk that garbage on the lowest rated cable channel u work for.”
Carlson also responded to a comment by Acosta where the CNN employee said, “Just because we are pro-truth doesn’t mean that we are anti-Trump.”
Carlson replied, “No one’s ever accused Jim Acosta of being a genius, but even by our estimate, it’s pretty shocking that he is so proud of himself.”
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