Fox News is going all in on attacking CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta after a heated exchange between Acosta and President Donald Trump. The incident ended with a White House intern unsuccessfully reaching to seize Acosta’s microphone as he spoke, a moment that led the White House to accuse Acosta of acting aggressively toward the intern. A few hours after the event, the White House announced that it was revoking Acosta’s White House access -- his “hard pass” -- claiming that he put “his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job.”
CNN responded by accusing the White House of basing its decision on “fraudulent accusations,” arguing that the real reason Acosta had his press privileges revoked was “retaliation for his challenging questions at today’s press conference.” The White House Correspondents’ Association also condemned the White House’s decision as “unacceptable,” saying that the association “strongly objects to the Trump administration’s decision” to use press credentials “as a tool to punish a reporter with whom it has a difficult relationship.” There have been additional accusations that a video put out by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was doctored to intentionally make Acosta appear more aggressive.
Since the incident, Fox News has responded by applauding the White House response and celebrating Trump’s “smackdown” of Jim Acosta.
On his nightly Fox show, Hannity, Sean Hannity referred to the incident as “the president’s smackdown of CNN’s Jim Acosta” and argued that Acosta’s press credentials have been “rightfully revoked.”
Laura Ingraham invited a panel of guests onto The Ingraham Angle to berate Acosta for the incident. Ingraham called the press conference a “disgraceful performance.” Panelist and NRATV host Dan Bongino said, “I don’t know what’s more embarrassing, Acosta and the press corps’ behavior or Jim Acosta singlehandedly changing the conversation from the Democrats’ House takeover to a conversation about Jim Acosta.” And Matt Schlapp, a Fox News regular and the husband of White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp, called the revocation of Acosta’s hard pass “the right decision.”
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, conservative personalities Diamond and Silk called Acosta “the enemy of the people,” calling “for his press credentials to be removed” before the White House announced it had stripped his hard pass.
Fox contributor David Bossie declared on Trish Regan Primetime that Acosta is “an embarrassment to his so-called profession” and “despicable.” Bossie also said that he was “so happy that the White House has revoked [Acosta’s] press credential.” Trish Regan added that it was “completely inappropriate” for Acosta to “hang on to [the microphone] and keep asking questions” because “he’s bigger and stronger” than the intern.
Fox News’ Stuart Varney chided Acosta’s actions as “an awful display” and “shameful,” describing the media as “rude and unruly.”
Fox radio host Todd Starnes tweeted that Acosta “bullied a female White House press staffer. His press credentials should be revoked and he should be thrown out of the building.”
Fox news contributor Monica Crowley criticized CNN and the media, referring to the incident as a “presidential bitch-slap” of CNN and Acosta and applauding Trump and the White House for putting “the dishonest, hostile, biased, rude fake news in its place.”
Fox host Mark Levin called on media to denounce Acosta, saying that “if the media have an ounce of integrity left they will condemn Acosta.”
Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich accused Acosta of “grandstanding,” condemning him for taking up “far more time than he should, to focus on himself” and calling it “disrespectful to his peers.” In a separate tweet, Pavlich alleged that Acosta was “slamming down the arm of a woman doing her job.”