MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and other conservative panelists slammed CNN's Jim Acosta for sparring with White House adviser Stephen Miller over a proposal to drastically limit legal immigration.
Acosta asked the White House adviser Tuesday whether the proposal would essentially change the meaning of immigration, and the reporter read from the Emma Lazarus poem, "The New Colossus," inscribed on the Statue of Liberty -- which prompted an angry outburst from Miller.
“It was a very spirited debate between two very spirited ideologues on the issue of immigration and one of those spirited ideologues happened to be a supposedly objective news reporter for CNN," said Tim Carney, a columnist for the Washington Examiner. “This is why people hate the press.”
John Podhoretz, editor of the conservative Commentary, agreed Acosta had acted inappropriately.
“Having a reporter yammer at a White House official by quoting Emma Lazarus’ poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty as though that’s the basis for policy, something written in 1883 -- we’re living in 2017, and like keeping going, that was part of it, it was so obnoxious,” Podhertz said.
The "Morning Joe" host went even further and compared Acosta to Adolf Hitler for pointing out the similarities between White House policy and Nazi racial laws.
"Where things seemed to really melt down was when Jim Acosta talked -- we're certainly not putting this on Jim Acosta -- you can watch the clip and choose sides," Scarborough said. "Or just say, as Tim said after, maybe we shouldn't have TVs in the press room, after all. But when Jim Acosta used the language of, it seems like your policies are trying to engineer racial and ethnic percentages, or something, it sure sounded like something that you would read out of Mein Kampf or something."
"'Oh, it looks like you're engaged in racial engineering or ethnic engineering' or something we would have accused the Serbs of doing back in the early 1990s -- at that point, it went off the rails," Scarborough added.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski disagreed, saying Acosta's outburst was justified -- and not much different from reactions she and her colleagues had displayed to President Donald Trump and his policies.
“I don’t think there’s anybody on this set who hasn’t gotten too personal during this presidency -- and I don’t think that’s just our fault,” Brzezinski said. “I think this has been one of the most disturbing moments in history, to watch this presidency and the cacophony of lies spilling out every day.”