Steve Krakauer, a former producer at CNN, denounced White House correspondent Jim Acosta as a self-promoting grandstander who gives the media a bad name.
Writing in his media newsletter, Fourth Watch, Krakauer even went as far to say that Acosta’s actions may indeed help President Trump get reelected because it only helps to illustrate his claims of media bias. Though Krakauer has no personal animus toward Acosta and even believes him to be a competent reporter, he ultimately faults the correspondent for putting fame over duty.
“I don’t think CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta is a bad guy,” wrote Krakauer. “I worked with him at CNN, and he was a solid, competent reporter. If Acosta’s goal was to be a great White House reporter, he could probably do it.”
“But that’s not Jim Acosta’s goal,” he quickly added. “Jim Acosta wants to be famous. I’ve written before, three years ago, that Acosta clearly aspires to use this opportunity to spar with President Trump, #Resistance Signal on Twitter and generally build his brand to move on to bigger things – a prime time show maybe, or at least a few late-night TV appearances.”
Krakauer then presented a photo of Acosta’s Twitter profile from last year, which showed him smiling alongside late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel, as evidence of him putting fame over duty. Since his actions do nothing but help Trump, Krakauer even jokingly asserts that Acosta might be in on a scheme to reelect the president another four years.
“Jim Acosta loves nothing more than Jim Acosta,” Krakauer continued. “But I’ve also half-joked that if we found out, years from now, that Acosta was actually a plant and was secretly working for the Trump re-election campaign, I wouldn’t be shocked.”
Krakauer then highlighted Acosta’s recent skirmish with President Trump last week at the White House coronavirus task force briefing, during which he accused the president of using the conferences to throw out “happy talk.”
“We hear from a lot of people who see these briefings as sort of ‘happy talk’ briefings,” said Acosta. “Do we have enough masks? No. Do we have enough tests? No. Do we have enough PPE? No.”
“There’s nothing happy about it, Jim. This is ‘sad talk,'” Trump responded. “These are the saddest news conference that I’ve ever had. I don’t like doing them. You know why? Because I’m talking about death…There’s no ‘happy talk’ Jim. This is the real deal.”
Beyond this, Krakauer also directed criticism at reporter Yamiche Alcindor of PBS, who asked Surgeon General Jerome Adams to address using terms like “Big Mama,” which she said some considered racist.
“Adams’ answer was nuanced and thoughtful. He described conversations he’s had recently with the NAACP on how they’d like him to target outreach to the Black community,” wrote Krakauer of the moment. “Exchanges like the ones with Acosta and Alcindor Friday during coronavirus briefings are actively helping Trump get re-elected – and they make all in the press look bad.”
As reported by The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra in 2018, multiple reporters have complained of Acosta’s conduct behind closed doors.