"Grandstanding" or truth teller? CNN’s Acosta walks a fine line with Trump

“I think I’m just covering a story, honestly,” Acosta said in a call from Germany, where he was covering the president. “When the president of the United States calls the press ‘fake news’ and ‘the enemy of the American people,’ ” he added, “I think that’s when you have to get tough and ask the hard questions.”

Of course, Trump and Spicer haven’t held back, either. In an interview, Spicer denounced Acosta in some of the harshest terms a press secretary has used — at least in public — to refer to a reporter. “If Jim Acosta reported on Jim Acosta the way he reports on us, he’d say he hasn’t been very honest,” Spicer said. “I think he’s gone well beyond the role of reporter and steered into the role of advocate. He’s the prime example of a [reporter in a] competitive, YouTube, click-driven industry,” Spicer added. “He’s recognized that if you make a spectacle on the air then you’ll get more airtime and more clicks. . . . If I were a mainstream, veteran reporter, I’d be advocating for him to knock it off. It’s hurting the profession.”

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