Former CNN legend Larry King has some brutal advice for activist reporters like CNN’s Jim Acosta: Behave yourself and start being a news network again.
King, who is no fan of President Trump, sat down for an interview with the Law & Crime Network and addressed the confrontation between Trump and Acosta that led to CNN’s chief correspondent getting suspended from upcoming White House press conferences.
“I’m a big supporter of freedom of speech,” King, who will turn 85 on Monday, said. “But on the other hand, there are 50 press passes at CNN to the White House.”
Of the 50 CNN passes, only Acosta’s was revoked.
As for Fox News siding with CNN on their lawsuit against the Trump administration, King said it’s a smart, pragmatic move because “you can have another president in three years who throws a Fox reporter out.”
During that post-election press conference, Acosta argued with the president and made demands instead of simply asking questions. After the president responded to him, Acosta refused to hand over the microphone and even manhandled a female intern who was trying to take it from him. Even after finally giving up the mic, Acosta continued to yell at the president as another journalist tried to ask Trump questions.
“Jim was a little out of line,” King observed. “I wouldn’t have gone that far. [Trump] answered one or two [of Jim’s] questions; then he didn’t want to answer anymore. You got a room full of people all of whom have the right to ask questions.”
“Jim might have gone a little far,” he continued. “The president kept going back to him… To me, you know what this was? Eighth grade. It was the playground, ‘That’s my ball and I wanna play today on the team.’ It was childish.”
Asked if journalists should become the star of the story, King said, “No. The person you’re asking the questions is, for want of a better term, the star. At a Trump press conference, Trump is the star. You try to learn as much as you can from him, but you’re not bigger than him.”
“It isn’t about you. It’s about him.”
“The terrible thing is...CNN has become — as is Fox and MSNBC — Trump networks. There’s the anti-Trump network, the partially anti-Trump network, and the pro-Trump network. But they’re not news networks.”
He also criticized CNN for focusing on opinions instead of reporting the news and not covering enough big, non-political news events.
“They stopped doing news.”
Watch a clip from that interview below:
King made similar comments earlier this month on election day, telling RT America, “CNN stopped doing news a long time ago. They do Trump.”