During Donald Trump‘s first press conference as president-elect, many saw his dismissal of CNN’s Jim Acosta for belonging to a “fake news” organization as a pivotal moment for journalism.
For a while now, the term “fake news” has been weaponized by people who apply it to news stories they don’t like. But thanks to Trump and his surrogates, it’s a tactic that now has the government’s stamp of approval.
Appearing on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 this Thursday, Acosta addressed Trump’s comments during the presser, including his press secretary Sean Spicer‘s threats to have him removed if he didn’t shut up.
“Jim Acosta, you tried to ask a question at the press conference to president-elect Trump,” Cooper said to Acosta at the outset of the segment. “He refused to take questions, saying you’re from ‘fake news.’ What did Sean Spicer say to you after that?”
“Well, he came up to me and said that what I did was crossing the line and was inappropriate,” Acosta said. “We should repeat that during that news conference when I was trying to ask that question, Spicer threatened to throw me out of the press conference if I kept persisting. But speaking of Sean Spicer, we should report that on a conference call this morning, he was asked whether Donald Trump was going to sue over these stories for libel and Sean Spicer told reporters that the president-elect would like to move on.”
“I think that there’s something worse than fake news and that’s the denial of real news and beyond that, Anderson, something that might be worse than that is they’re just not in command of the facts at this point,” he continued. “When you listen to Kelleyanne Conway go sort of all over the place on this, they’re just not in command of the facts. But I will tell you that this has been a pattern for the Trump campaign and now the Trump transition, where they don’t like the news that’s being reported and they go after the messenger and I think that’s just going to continue.”
Watch the video below, via Media Matters: