Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt took CNN’s Jim Acosta to task in a Tuesday interview over his network’s coverage of President Donald Trump.
The contentious interview lasted nearly twenty minutes and ended in Acosta complaining that he didn’t have enough time to answer questions and that the interview was unfair.
Hewitt immediately zeroed in on Acosta’s apparent distaste for the president and called out a “snarky” tweet Acosta sent about Trump golfing.
Now watch this drive https://t.co/VsRygsajlJ
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 24, 2017
“My problem is when you put now watch this drive, it is snarky,” Hewitt countered. “Do you agree with me it was snarky?”
The CNN White House correspondent defended the tweet, arguing that Trump is “a different kind of president” so the press has to cover him in a different way, but Hewitt wasn’t letting Acosta off that easily.
“Neutral, fair, objective. Neutral, fair, objective,” Hewitt said. “Is it possible for your audience to believe you are neutral, fair and objective when you are snarkily tweeting at the President?”
“Where is the same sense of decency when it comes to when the President refers to us as the enemy of the people, when the President refers to us as fake news?” Acosta whined.
The pair went back and forth about Acosta’s role as an “objective” reporter and Hewitt’s role as a conservative commentator until Hewitt returned to twisting the knife.
“But if you hold yourself out as neutral, fair and objective, I don’t think, and this is, by the way, why the New York Times now has social media guidelines for their reporters,” Hewitt said. “And I think CNN’s got to develop them. If you’re going to hold yourself out as neutral, fair and objective, I don’t think you can snark.”
Acosta countered that he gets to “have a voice” even as a reporter and added he has to be “tough” on the president because the president is tough on him.
“Hugh, I have just as much, I have just as much a voice as anybody else,” he argued. “I think if you look at my coverage on a daily basis, if you look at the coverage at CNN on a daily basis, it is very fair, but it is also, it is very tough. And it is because, in part, we have a president that we’re covering these days who is very tough on us.”
“And so this is in response. You don’t like him, because he’s mean to you?” Hewitt asserted.
Hewitt asked Acosta if he admired the president, which led to a long waffling response about the various things Trump has said or done over the past couple of years, including his comments about illegal immigrants and journalists.
Hewitt continued to press Acosta to share how he feels about Trump, leading to a full-scale meltdown.
“If you’re going to take me, but no, if you’re going to take me to the woodshed over one tweet, Hugh, I don’t think it’s fair to ask me an open-ended question do I admire the President without giving you a fulsome response,” Acosta moaned. “Well, you know, don’t invite me on if you don’t want me to finish your question.”
Hewitt laughed and explained he had Acosta on the show for 17 minutes and was coming up on a hard break, to which Acosta replied, “I wish it could have been a more fair interview.”