“The View” co-host Meghan McCain tried to compare President Donald Trump’s incitements against journalists to a rude response CNN reporter Jim Acosta sent to a critic — and her colleagues swiftly set her straight.
The panelists agreed Trump’s celebration of Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) assaulting a reporter was wrong, and especially wrong given the disappearance and apparent murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“He’s been tone deaf when it comes to the Saudi Arabia story from the beginning,” said Abby Huntsman.
McCain praised Khashoggi’s work, but she then changed the subject to Acosta.
“It’s incredibly tone deaf at this moment to be advocating violence against journalists whatsoever and what can happen if you decide to actually take that on,” McCain said, before abruptly pivoting. “Yesterday Jim Acosta, who works for CNN, direct messaged a former Trump supporter saying, ‘(F*ck) you,’ to Justin Corporal, the former director of operations for Melania Trump.”
“So I hold everyone to a standard, the president and the press,” she added. “Let’s rise above this. We’re at a tone in this country, let’s be respectful. I don’t think that helps anything.”
Co-host Joy Behar quickly called her out for equating Acosta’s private rudeness with Trump’s public provocations, and McCain seemed to blame the media for the violent anger rising toward journalists.
“When there’s an anger towards the press, which there is with a lot of conservatives and Republicans, on the other side the press — I’m sorry but Edward R. Murrow probably wouldn’t be saying ‘blank you,'” McCain said.
Co-host Sunny Hostin said Acosta was a friend of hers and had apologized to the man he insulted, but she said he’s faced far worse on the job.
“He’s the same person that’s been covering Trump in the campaign and had death threats directed at him,” Hostin said. “He’s also had people chanting in his face, ‘CNN sucks.’ My good friend Don Lemon has had death threats, my former colleagues are afraid to go to work, so I think the tone comes from the top.”
“I don’t recall a time when we heard this kind of attack on freedom of the press on our First Amendment, and I think it started with this president,” Hostin said. “I really do.”