Among the MAGA crowd, one of the most — if not THE MOST — despised journalists is CNN chief Washington correspondent Jim Acosta. Ever since Donald Trump called him “Fake News” last year, Acosta has been a very public target of the administration and conservative media. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently suggested Acosta was stupid while he’s been painted as a publicity-hungry grandstander by conservative media and folks at Fox News.
During an interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday morning, Acosta was asked about his habit of shouting out questions at the president during public events. Host Brian Stelter pointed out how Fox News portrays his actions and wanted to know why Acosta felt there was “so much resentment or criticism of the way” he does this.
“Well, to some extent, you know, the president and Fox News — they don’t have Barack Obama around anymore,” Acosta responded. “They don’t have Hillary Clinton — although the president goes after Hillary Clinton a lot and so does Fox News.”
He continued, “So we sorta replaced Obama and Hillary. They need somebody to attack. I think that we’ve sort of filled that role.”
The CNN correspondent went on to say that part of the issue comes down to the press having to spend much of their time fact-checking the president, bringing up recent false claims such as ICE liberating towns from MS-13 and Trump saying he never pushed for Republicans to vote on an immigration bill.
“And fact-checking sounds like bashing to a part of the population,” Stelter noted.
“That’s right,” Acosta said. “And I think, you know, listen. There are folks on the conservative side of the spectrum — I refer to them affectionately as the MAGA-phone. They by and large just echo what the president wants to hear and what he wants to say. We see that a lot happening over on Fox News.”
It should be noted that while many Fox hosts and commentators do go after Acosta on a regular basis — Hannity has made a cottage industry out of it — some Fox figures have come to Acosta’s defense recently. After Acosta was heckled at a Trump rally while doing a live report — something Hannity cackled with glee over — Fox Business host Trish Regan and Fox’s Melissa Francis publicly stated that it wasn’t right to attack Acosta for doing his job.
Watch the entire interview above, via CNN.