Chris Wallace ‘horrified’ by CNN’s Acosta’s conduct: ‘It’s not our job to one-up presidents’

Chris Wallace ripped Jim Acosta over a heated exchange the CNN chief White House correspondent had with President Trump during a press conference in India on Tuesday, saying Acosta made a “huge mistake” that “adds to the people questioning the credibility of the media.”

“I was horrified by [Acosta],” Wallace said at a Columbia University event in New York City hosted by the Common Ground Committee on Tuesday night. “It’s not our job to get in fights with presidents. It’s not our job to one-up presidents. It’s our job to report on presidents.”

“But to the degree we have responded to his attacks on us with attacks or advocacy in kind, there’s a huge mistake, and I think adds to people questioning the credibility of the media,” the “Fox News Sunday” host said.

Acosta told Trump during a press conference in New Delhi that CNN’s “record on delivering the truth is a lot better” than his “sometimes” after the president broached the topic of a recent report on Russia’s election interference that CNN later walked back.

“I worry that the president’s attacks have given too many straight news reporters — not talking about the opinion page or prime time — an excuse or license to cross the line themselves and become players on the field, and I think that is a huge mistake,” Wallace said. “It’s not our role. Our role is to be observers, umpires, fact-checkers, investigators — it’s not to be advocates. It’s not to be opponents.”

Wallace was appearing with New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, also a CNN contributor, who said she agreed with Wallace on the media’s role.
The exchange in question came after Acosta — who has repeatedly clashed with Trump — asked if Trump would pledge to reject any foreign interference in the upcoming presidential campaign.

“First of all, I want no help from any country, and I haven’t been given help from any country,” Trump replied. “And if you see what CNN, your wonderful network, said, I guess they apologized in a way for — didn’t they apologize for the fact that they said certain things that weren’t true? Tell me, what was their apology yesterday? What did they say?”

“Mr. President, I think our record on delivering the truth is a lot better than yours sometimes,” Acosta responded without answering the president’s question.

“Let me tell you about your record. Your record is so bad you ought to be ashamed of yourself,” Trump shot back. “You have the worst record in the history of broadcasting.”

“I’m not ashamed of anything and our organization is not ashamed,” retorted Acosta.

CNN Vice President and spokesman Matt Dornic responded to Wallace’s comments, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, by referring to Fox News as “State TV,” a charge he has made against the rival network several times in the past. 
“Chris Wallace literally works for state TV,” Dornic wrote. “I don’t think @Acosta or any real journalist ought to be taking advice from him. Chris, if only you spent as much time and effort sharing these morsels of wisdom with your own colleagues…”  

Trump often refers to CNN as “fake news” and has not appeared on the network since he was a presidential candidate back in August 2016. 
Tags Chris Wallace CNN Donald Trump Fox News Jim Acosta Maggie Haberman
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