Acosta, who on Monday dismissed the idea that he seeks out the spotlight during the Trump presidency but rather he and other journalists were “thrust” into an “unprecedented situation,” said in another new interview that the media has been more honest with the American public than the president.
“I have never witnessed a concerted effort by any news organization to take a stand one way or the other on a political issue, to damage one particular party or help another,” he told Publishers Weekly.
He also defended the press by arguing that it issued corrections when mistakes are made, something he said the president does not do.
“We have been far more honest and straightforward with the American people than President Trump has,” Acosta said.
“Are there times when we fall short? Sure. But the press issues corrections. When was the last time you saw the president issue a correction or a clarification? It’s a rare thing for Donald J. Trump.”
The interview came as Acosta released his memoir titled “The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell Truth in America.” The book, which recounts his time covering the Trump White House, caught attention for pushing back on the idea of media “neutrality.”
“Neutrality for the sake of neutrality doesn’t really serve us in the age of Trump,” it read. Acosta elaborated on that point during his interview with PW.
“There aren’t two sides to the story when it’s a matter of right and wrong,” he said.”There’s nothing right about neo-Nazis causing so much mayhem that a woman is dead in the streets. You can’t be neutral about something as heinous as neo-Nazis and white supremacists.”
He was referring to the racially-charged protests in Charlottesville, Virginia at the beginning of Trump’s presidency. Acosta took issue with Trump saying there were “very fine people on both sides.”
Acosta has taken plenty of criticism from both the president and his press secretary, Sarah Sanders. Acosta defended one particular exchange in which he asked Sanders where the Bible said it was moral to take children away from their mothers — a reference to the southern border crisis.
“I suppose a critic could read that question as grandstanding, but a creative question aimed at penetrating talking points and spin is sometimes the right way to go,” he said.
The new book will likely provoke Trump’s ire as he could see it as fodder to continue his attacks on CNN.