Behaving ‘Like The Political Opposition’: White House Reporter Jonathan Karl Blasts CNN’s Jim Acosta In New Book

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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CNN’s Jim Acosta was criticized by the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) in a new book for his “soapbox” reporting style helping President Donald Trump.

“Front Row at the Trump Show,” published March 31 and written by ABC journalist and WHCA president Jonathan Karl, blasts Acosta for sometimes acting like an “opinion journalist.” Karl also wrote that Acosta has played “right into the explicit Trump strategy of portraying the press as the opposition party,” The Free Beacon reported.

“The surest way to undermine the credibility of the White House press corps is to behave like the political opposition,” Karl writes in his new book. “Don’t give speeches from the White House briefing room. … Don’t talk about holding protests against the president in Lafayette Square.”

This is in reference to Acosta’s big 2018 argument with former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Acosta demanded that Sanders say the press wasn’t the “enemy of the people” and then urged reporters to protest outside of the White House.

Actions like Acosta’s, according to Karl, have allowed Trump to cast the press as the enemy. (RELATED: Media Rated Worst At Handling Coronavirus Response In Gallup Poll)

U.S. President Donald Trump gets into an exchange with Jim Acosta of CNN after giving remarks a day after the midterm elections on November 7, 2018 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump gets into an exchange with Jim Acosta of CNN. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Karl’s book is also critical of Acosta’s 2017 outburst where he repeatedly tried to interrupt another member of the press after Trump refused to call on him. The president was angry with CNN at the time because of an article alleging that Russian operatives had information about Trump and tried to “compromise him.”

“Acosta was portraying himself as some kind of righteous advocate for the press,” according to Karl, who added that most reporters only saw him “rudely interrupting a colleague.”

The CNN reporter has backed himself up amid numerous fights and disagreements. He published a 2019 book about reporting under the Trump administration titled “The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America.”

“A sub-sub theme [of Karl’s book] is those of us reporters make a mistake if they appear to be too much like an opposition to the president or the resistance,” Karl said during an interview with The Free Beacon. “That’s not our job. We’re not the opposition party. We’re supposed to report and report aggressively on the president, on any president, but not to go over the top.”

Karl added that he has no personal vendetta against Acosta, The Free Beacon reported.