Chris Wallace scolds Jim Acosta for rank disrespect of Trump: ‘I was horrified’

(Video screenshots)

Though the folks at CNN love to highlight Fox News host Chris Wallace’s words whenever he trashes President Donald Trump, they weren’t so keen to highlight his words after he recently trashed them.

Speaking at a town hall-like event for “journalists” held Tuesday evening at the Columbia University School of Journalism, Wallace bashed CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, for his habitual lack of professionalism.

The remarks were made as Wallace spoke about the general lack of professionalism that’s taken root in “journalism” over the past couple of years.

Listen (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):

 

“What concerns me, and this is the main point that I want to make tonight, is that we can’t control the president’s behavior,” his statement began. “We shouldn’t try to control the president’s behavior. What we can do is control our behavior.”

“And I worry that the president’s ‘attacks’ [on the media] 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. 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.”

He then turned his attention to the disgraceful way that Acosta had behaved during a presidential press conference earlier that day in India.

“There was an event today … there was a news conference in India, and Jim Acosta of CNN asked a question of the president, and the president proceeded to attack CNN, and Acosta then said, ‘Our record at telling the truth is a lot better than yours, Mr. President,'” Wallace reported.

I was horrified by that. I covered the Reagan White House for six years with Sam Donaldson and Lesley Stahl. None of us receding personalities would have ever dreamt of saying that to a president of the United States, and Acosta shouldn’t have.”

He added, “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 that 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.”

Watch what happened between Trump and Acosta below:

The clip begins with Acosta trying to ask two questions at the same time.

“Can you pledge to the American people that you will not accept any foreign assistance in the upcoming election?” he first asks before adding another question.

“And on this idea of a purge in your administration, there was recently the departure of your acting DNI Joseph Maguire. You replaced him with your ambassador to Germany [Richard Grenell.] Some of your critics have pointed out that Ambassador Grenell has no intelligence experience. How can you justify to the American people having an acting DNI with no intelligence experience?”

The questions irritated the president, so he responded by trashing CNN.

“First of all, I want no help from any country — and I haven’t been given help from any country,” he says in the clip above. “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?”

CNN never technically apologized. But the network did hurriedly backtrack after it published a false report last week alleging, “Russia is looking to help Trump win in 2020.” Days later on Sunday, the network admitted that the allegations were false.

Regardless, Acosta apparently took personal offense to the president’s remarks, as demonstrated by his cheeky and unprofessional response.

“Mr. President, I think our record on delivering the truth is a lot better than yours sometimes, if you don’t mind me saying,” he said.

That was a big no-no, according to Wallace.

According to CNN, however, the big no-no was the Fox News host’s willingness to hold CNN accountable.

“Chris Wallace literally works for state TV,” the network’s vice president for communications and digital partnerships, Matt Dornic,  angrily tweeted.

“Chris, if only you spent as much time and effort sharing these morsels of wisdom with your own colleagues…”

There was just one problem. Wallace wasn’t alone in how he felt. After he concluded his remarks about Acosta at the event Tuesday, discussion moderator Linda Feldman of The Christian Science Monitor expressed agreement with him.

When I talk to young people, I say watch the way Chris Wallace interviews people, not Jim Acosta,” she remarked. “I think you’re the model.”

Listen:

As of Wednesday morning, Dornic’s tweet boasted a growing ratio.

See some of the scathing backlash below:

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Vivek Saxena

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