Two of CNN’s most prominent reporters covering the Trump administration say they’ll be markedly less hostile should Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden be inaugurated.
CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta and fact check reporter Daniel Dale told The Atlantic in an article published Tuesday that their approach to covering the president will change under a new administration. They said that President Trump was to blame for the media’s hostile attitude toward him and that a new president would be less deserving of such scrutiny.
Acosta’s coverage of the Trump administration blurred the line between journalism and activism, and he was often accused of using his position in the White House press pool to boost his own image. In June 2019, Acosta published a book about his time covering the Trump White House titled, “The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America.”
Acosta told The Atlantic that his antics in the White House press pool were motivated out of a desire to hold the Trump administration accountable for its alleged lies. He also said that a Biden administration would not constitute a “nonstop national emergency” such as the Trump administration represented.
As The Atlantic reported:
[Acosta] insists that his on-air indignation has always been genuine. “You can’t just go and trash the press and totally lie to the American people and tell them real news is fake news,” Acosta told me. “I couldn’t stomach it.”
The drama has made him famous, but Acosta said he doesn’t expect to bring the same crusading style to his coverage of the next administration. “I don’t think the press should be trying to whip up the Biden presidency and turn it into must-see TV in a contrived way,” he said.
If that sounds like a double standard, Acosta told me it’s not partisan—it’s a matter of professional solidarity. In his view, Trump’s campaign to discredit the press has constituted a “nonstop national emergency,” one that required a defiant response. “If being at the White House is not an experience that might merit hazard pay,” he said, “then perhaps it is going to be approached differently.”
Dale, who was in charge of fact-checking the president, said that his role at CNN would likely expand into fact-checking other lawmakers than just the president under a Biden administration because Biden does not lie as much as Trump.
As The Atlantic reported:
“It will not be a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job to fact-check Biden,” he told me. Though he stressed that the same “intensity and rigor” should be applied to the incoming president, the simple reality is that Biden doesn’t lie nearly as often as Trump does. Consequently, Dale hopes to spend more time debunking online disinformation and digging into claims made by congressional leaders.
Throughout the presidential campaign, network news coverage from outlets such as CNN often failed to provide meaningful coverage of major news stories detrimental to the Biden campaign, such as October stories on leaked emails from a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden, or stories surrounding sexual misconduct allegations made against the presidential candidate by former staffer Tara Reade.
The dearth of coverage may have had a significant impact on the election, according to a survey conducted by the Media Research Center.
As The Daily Wire reported:
As Newsbusters reports, the Media Research Center asked The Polling Company to survey voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states that were called for Biden, except North Carolina. The survey asked respondents what they knew about eight specific issues or stories that MRC felt the media had not adequately covered. The survey found that 17% of the Biden voters surveyed said they would not have voted for him had they known about at least one of the stories.
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