[Ed. – ‘Neutrality for the sake of neutrality doesn’t work in the Trump era.’ –’Journalist’ Jim Acosta]
Donald Trump’s war with the US press began as an act in the absence of effective Democratic opposition then spiraled out of control, according to an eagerly awaited new book by one of the chief targets of the president’s fury.
In The Enemy of the People, CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta writes that after an early confrontation, close Trump aide Hope Hicks called him to say the president wanted him to know he was “very professional today”.
“He said, ‘Jim gets it,’” Hicks is quoted as saying.
Trump, Acosta writes, had just called the reporter “fake news” and “very fake news” after being asked about Russian election interference at a press conference in February 2017.
“When he called us ‘fake news’,” Acosta writes, “it was, in his mind, an act.”
The incident occurred amid the opening shots in a rapidly escalating war that now sees fierce national debate over Trump’s attacks on mainstream media and what they mean for press safety and US democracy itself.