In order to eliminate any remaining doubt that he views his news agency more as a reality television show set in a newsroom than a serious attempt to do outdated things like unbiased reporting, CNN's Jeff Zucker has promoted his network's most overtly attention-seeking and partisan reporters, who really doesn't like the current administration, to Chief White House Correspondent.
"CNN has announced a number of new assignments for its White House and Washington-based correspondents, timed to the start of President Trump’s second year in office," the network announced in a statement Tuesday. "Jim Acosta has been named CNN’s chief White House correspondent. Acosta has covered the Obama and Trump White Houses for CNN since 2013."
In honor of his promotion, below are the top five most embarrassing, attention-seeking and/or egregiously biased tweets, statements and stunts from Acosta last year in chronological order.
1. June 2017 — Acosta Melts Down Because Sean Spicer Won't "Turn The Cameras On"!
Acosta, who'd already gained notoriety at the White House for grandstanding, was particularly upset with then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer for choosing not to have the cameras on for some briefings, a decision made in part to cut down on grandstanding.
At one point, Acosta really lost it. The Daily Wire's Joseph Curl describes the moment:
When Acosta accosted Spicer, talking over another reporter, Spicer said: "There's no camera on, Jim."
That set Acosta off. "Maybe we should turn the cameras on, Sean. Why don't we turn the cameras on? Why don't we turn the cameras on? Why not turn the cameras on?"
Spicer took another question, but Acosta persisted.
"Why are the cameras off, Sean? Why did you turn them off?"
Then Acosta went bigger. "You are a taxpayer-fund spokesman for the United States government."
"Some days we'll have it, some days we won't," Spicer said.
2. July 2017 — Acosta Blasts Trump's "Fake News" Press Conference By Using Fake News
As The Washington Free Beacon highlighted, when the Trump-CNN war ratcheted up, in part thanks to a Trump-tweeted GIF of the president "wrestling" CNN, Acosta went on air to slam the president for what he labeled a "fake news" press conference. Unfortunately for Acosta, in two of his biggest "fake news" complaints, he got some of the key facts wrong himself.
First, he faulted Trump for saying Obama did "nothing" to address alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
"Barack Obama went further, by the way, in that meeting with Vladimir Putin, than President Trump is promising to do himself. He's not even promising to bring up election meddling in his bilateral [meeting] with Vladimir Putin," said Acosta. "So for the president to say, ‘Well, Barack Obama did nothing,' he is, at this point, promising to do less than nothing on that front."
Acosta also complained about Trump saying that it wasn't 17 intelligence agencies that concluded that the Russians interfered, but just "three of four." Again, Acosta got his facts wrong. The initial reports that "17 agencies" agreed turned out to be the real "fake news." WFB reports:
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on May 8 that the intelligence community assessment "was a coordinated product from three agencies: CIA, NSA and the FBI, not all 17 components of the intelligence community. Those three, under the aegis of my former office."
3. August 2017 — Acosta Scolds Trump For Refusing To Tell Our Enemies How Many Troops We've Deployed
Following Trump's prime time update on the war in Afghanistan, Acosta took to Twitter to scold him for failing to reveal to the world how many troops we've deployed to the region.
"Trump on Afghanistan strategy: 'we will not talk about numbers of troops.' (Don't the American people deserve to know how many we send?)" he wrote.
Curl sums up the stupidity of Acosta's complaint with a recent example of why broadcasting to our enemies key information about our troops and strategy is a terrible idea:
Now, former president Barack Obama liked to announce all of his specific plans, like he did on October 20, 2011 when he told the world the U.S. was withdrawing all troops from Iraq. What happened? The rise of ISIS. Even Newsweek noted the mistake in a piece titled "OBAMA’S RETREAT FROM WAR MADE MATTERS WORSE."
4. October 2017 — Acosta Gets Embarrassed By Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Part 1
Acosta tried to use the horrific Las Vegas massacre to score some cheap political points against Trump, but it backfired badly. In response to a tweet from Trump asking, "Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!" Acosta asked Sanders if Trump valued the First Amendment as much as he did the Second Amendment.
“Why did the president tweet this morning that he would like to see the Senate Intelligence Committee investigate news outlets in this quest to go after fake news?” Acosta asked. “Does he value the First Amendment as much as he does the Second Amendment?”
5. December 2017 — Acosta Gets Embarrassed By Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Part 2
In December, things once again got tense between Acosta and Sanders, with Sanders once again walking away in better shape than the reporter. Acosta started the ultimately losing effort in response to Sanders' chiding The Washington Post's David Weigel for a deceptive tweet about the size of the crowd at Trump's rally in Pensacola a few days earlier.
"There was nothing more than an individual trying to put their bias into their reporting and something that, frankly, has gotten a little bit out of control," said Sanders. "We've seen it time and time again over the last couple of weeks. A number of outlets have had to retract and change and re-write and make editor's notes to a number of different stories, some of them with major impacts, including moving markets. This is a big problem and we think it's something that should be taken seriously."
Sanders called on Acosta, who came to the defense of his fellow "fake news" journalists.
"I would just say, Sarah, that journalists make honest mistakes and that doesn't make them fake news, but the question that I have —" Acosta began. And that's when things got fun again: