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George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley praised CNN’s Jake Tapper Friday for fact-checking his colleague Jim Acosta, writing in a blistering column that the liberal network needs more of these moments if it wants to be seen again as “honest and objective.”
“There was a telling moment of dissonance on CNN this week, a network that is now unrelenting in its negative and highly partisan coverage of the Administration,” Turley wrote.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley praised CNN’s Jake Tapper Friday for fact-checking his colleague Jim Acosta.
“Acosta has been repeatedly called out for such bias and sent out a clearly misleading tweet bashing White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Meanwhile, CNN host Jake Tapper set the record straight in fairness to McEnany,” Turley wrote, noting that “it is often impossible to distinguish CNN hosts from advocates on their programs.”
“I truly miss the old CNN. The loss to journalism is immense. Indeed, if anything, it may be driving people to Trump.”
— Jonathan Turley
During a press briefing on Thursday, McEnany reiterated President Trump‘s strong stance on wanting children to be going back to school in the fall amid a fiery debate about how educators can prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
“The science should not stand in the way of this, but as Dr. Scott Atlas said — I thought this was a good quote, ‘Of course, we can do it. Everyone else in the Western world, our peer nations are doing it. We are the outlier here,'” McEnany said, quoting the former Stanford Medical Center neurology chief.
“The science is very clear on this. For example, you look at the JAMA pediatric study of 46 pediatric hospitals in North America that said the risk of critical illness from COVID is far less for children than the seasonal flu. The science is on our side here. We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science. Open our schools,” she continued.
Acosta tweeted about what McEnany said by suggesting she was anti-science, with an out-of-context quote.
“The White House Press Secretary on Trump’s push to reopen schools: ‘The science should not stand in the way of this,'” the liberal reporter tweeted.
Acosta later added, “McEnany went on to say ‘the science is on our side here.'”
“That was clearly and absolutely false. However, Acosta knew that it would play well in the eco-journalistic model adopted by CNN. He quickly racked up 30,000 retweets,” Turley wrote. “He then later added that McEnany actually meant the opposite. That received less than 700 retweets. It is the ultimate example of demand of many viewers to only hear news that supports their own bias and adds to a type of journalistic comfort zone.”
Without directly addressing Acosta’s tweet, Tapper slammed the spread of the distorted quote urging everyone to “read the ENTIRE McEnany comment.”
Turley took this as a clear shot at Acosta, who has emerged as a household name by sparring with Trump and members of his administration on a regular basis.
“While I have occasionally criticized Tapper, I have more often praised him for his professionalism and intellect. This is why. This is what CNN was once and, with the help of figures like Tapper, it could be again: an honest and objective news organization,” Turley wrote.
Turley wrote many of his friends who work for CNN “privately lament” the network’s anti-Trump agenda.
“It is often impossible to distinguish CNN hosts from advocates on their programs. Hosts now engage in open advocacy against the President — discarding with the pretense of having a guest take a partisan position,” Turley wrote. “I truly miss the old CNN. The loss to journalism is immense. Indeed, if anything, it may be driving people to Trump.”
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.