Had Hannity done this, Acosta would have spent 15 minutes on CNN that day whining about it and lamenting “Fox’s turn from rhetorical intimidation to physical intimidation” or whatever. The incident would have received its own chapter in his new book, “Hero: Portrait of a Media Martyr,” a.k.a. “The Enemy of the People.”
In reality, Hannity (and Tucker Carlson) did the worst thing one can do to Acosta. They ignored him.
And he’ll never forgive them for it.
Hearing Sean Hannity is taking some shots at me over my book. Two things Sean… #1 I offered to come on your show and talk about the book and you guys declined. Sad! #2 you’re in the book. It was that time you had a chance to say something to my face but didn’t. Enjoy! pic.twitter.com/d4HElCdFYf
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 14, 2019
Hannity’s reply was Hannityesque:
It’s true Fake News Acosta’s reps have BEEN BEGGING to be on the #1 show on Cable News & 618 Of the top Talk Radio stations. Sorry, I wont subject my audience to conspiracy theory fake news. Go hawk that garbage on the lowest rated cable channel u work for
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) June 14, 2019
The idea here in baiting Hannity, I assume, is to brawl with him on Fox and hope that lefties see the viral clip and reward him for it with book sales. Surely he doesn’t believe that fans of what he calls “state TV” are going to buy it.
Anyway, if he was so hot to confront Hannity and Carlson about their criticism of him, why didn’t he say something to them on the bus when he had the chance? Calling them wimpy in a book after ducking the chance to do it directly face-to-face feels wimpier than what they did. Hannity and Carlson may have avoided confrontation that day for fear that it’d be unprofessional, especially during a media junket abroad attached to a presidential summit. Big Jim should have let them know he wanted to throw down. If that’s what he really wanted.
Fox is giving him some free press for his book, incidentally, mainly by noting how bad the reviews are:
NPR book critic Annalisa Quinn hits Acosta’s book for not asking why President Trump has “succeeded” with his attacks against the media but used the anti-Trump memoir “as an opportunity to relitigate his spats with the White House rather than to meaningfully interrogate the cultural shift that left huge numbers of people despising and fearing the press.”…
“Reporters become part of the story when the president attacks them. But in between absorbing abuse and hitting back is another option: fighting for access, challenging the president on lies, and reporting the facts the way you would with any other story,” Quinn argued. “Acosta seems to believe that the attacks give him special dispensation to offer his personal opinions, and that doing so is even an act of bravery or public service.”…
“Acosta acknowledges Trump’s working-class base and captures the shock that reverberated with his upset win. But he fails to place the rage and resentment in the larger context of how America and the west reached this inflection point,” [Guardian contributor Lloyd] Green said. “Acosta should address all this after he tacitly cops to acting like an advocate or editorialist, as opposed to simply reporting breaking news or calling balls and strikes. In his words: ‘Neutrality for the sake of neutrality doesn’t really serve us in the age of Trump.'”
Here he is promoting the book on his home network. It currently stands at three out of five stars on Amazon’s page, which is better than I would have expected as Trumpers inevitably chime in to let him know what they think of him. Sample review: “Laughable Acosta Wants His Mommy To Save His Precious Little Feelings.”
Check out my interview in the @cnnSitroom w/ our Chief White House Correspondent Jim @Acosta on his new best-selling book "The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America" pic.twitter.com/q4QcqhNC6I
— Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) June 14, 2019