CNN’s Jim Acosta faced a large crowd of President Donald Trump supporters who were not happy to see CNN’s team in the press section.
Acosta recorded the gathering of Trump supporters swarming CNN’s area in the press section. The crowd jeered Acosta, yelling “stop lying,” among other profanities.
The CNN reporter feared that the increased hostility toward the media could end in “somebody getting hurt.”
Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy. pic.twitter.com/IhSRw5Ui3R
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 1, 2018
Although Trump has made his views on CNN clear, Acosta’s hostile welcome at the president’s rally worried some. Many writers expressed their concerns on Twitter:
This is dark. Trump’s continuing incitement against media he dislikes is headed nowhere good. We need more political leaders to take a stand and say that it’s wrong to demonize journalists as “the enemy,” before it turns really ugly. Because inevitably it will. https://t.co/DXaMvQ2kE8
— Mark Follman (@markfollman) August 1, 2018
Trump tends to corrupt, and Trumpism plus mob psychology corrupts absolutely. https://t.co/cEPjyBLrEy
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 1, 2018
Hardly a week passes where I don’t get told as a member of the media that I should be strung up. To report on this crisis is to be threatened and live with constant harassment. https://t.co/NV4iJ6qg8X
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) August 1, 2018
Others saw Acosta’s footage as a way to attack Trump supporters, adding fuel to the fire. A Politico reporter, Marc Caputo, wrote, “If you put everyone’s mouths together in this video, you’d get a full set of teeth.” Co-host of “The View,” Meghan McCain, quickly put the reporter in his place:
This is so gross and this kind of statement is what so many in the middle of the country think the media thinks of them. @politico should hold their reporters to a higher standard. https://t.co/LEDZBKq96g
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) August 1, 2018
Although the majority of the public’s attention was on the bursts of hostility toward CNN at the Florida rally, other CNN reporters were greeted with support and appreciation.
Just so sad to see. I will say that I get stopped by folks every day who tell me the opposite – that they're happy journalists are doing their job. I'll take that – hopefully – as a more representative sampling of where Americans stand today. https://t.co/Xu2yQpexEf
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) August 1, 2018
Acosta, in particular, has had a rocky experience with the Trump administration. He regularly shouts questions, interrupts press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and otherwise annoys the president and his team.
The president and Acosta have their differences, but Trump has stated that the CNN reporter is “actually a nice guy.”