CNN’s Jim Acosta should “look in the mirror” if he “has a problem with the way people express themselves,” former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday.
In an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity,” Spicer addressed Acosta’s complaints about being heckled with chants of “CNN sucks” and “Fake news” at a Florida rally supporting President Donald Trump:
“If Jim Acosta has a problem with the ability of people to express themselves, he should look at his own unprofessional and disrespectful behavior. Look in the mirror and wonder whether he’s a part of the problem.”
Trump’s staffers and family have been harassed and threatened recently, but Acosta hasn’t been standing up for them or offering condolences for how they were mistreated, Spicer said. In fact, Acosta and his liberal colleagues love it when conservatives are abused, he said.
“They (liberal media) love playing clips about me getting heckled and intimidated” during his book tour, Spicer said. “They think it’s funny and amusing.”
While threats of violence are always wrong, Acosta doesn’t care if they’re leveled against conservatives, the former press secretary said – adding that Acosta should apologize for his “disgraceful” treatment of Pres. Trump.
What’s more, Acosta has no right to ask a question at a White House press briefing, Spicer said:
“We should never be threatening anybody with violence – but, it’s interesting how he’s only concerned with himself and his colleagues, as opposed the the violence that has come against the right, people like myself, Sarah (Sanders), Secretary Neilsen and others.”
“His unprofessional and disrespectful behavior is part of the problem. The way he treated the president the other day in that Rose Garden was disgraceful. He owes the president an apology. It is not his question that he is entitled to: it is the president’s to give it to him. “
While Hannity agreed, he also said that critical rhetoric – like “fake news” and CNN sucks” – is not nearly as wrong as actually threatening someone:
“This is important, because I’ve had the same experience. Every conservative that I know of has had the same experience. I don’t come on T.V. and whine that I’ve been heckled, or people have tried to physically tried to get to me, or that my life’s been threatended and that I’ve had people, literally, threaten by life.”
“It’s wrong. But, it’s not the same as chanting, ‘Fake news’ and ‘CNN sucks.’
“And, people have a right to freedom of speech, whether it’s against Sean, or me, or Doctor Gorka.”