Breitbart Chief White House Correspondent Charlie Spiering didn’t back down when CNN’s Jim Acosta claimed at an event on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. that members of the media should get along, even if they have ideological differences.
“I’d love for all of us to get away from this day where we’re just ripping each other apart because of political differences,” Acosta said on a panel at the Newseum focused on the press coverage of the presidency. “I think good people can disagree on the issues and it’s time for good people to disagree in a civil way about how the news is covered in this country.”
“I’d love to see it down the street on Pennsylvania Avenue, and I’d love to see it at places like Breitbart and perhaps our folks can do a better job at that as well,” Acosta said.
“Well, I think that the sort of go along, get along, everyone gets along climate in Washington, D.C. is what Americans are tired of,” Spiering said. “They’re tired of the closeness of the news media with the officials they cover. They’re tired of the stories of everybody hanging out and going out to dinners and partying.”
Spiering was interrupted by Julie Pace of the Associated Press.
“That happens with Republicans and Democrats too, to be fair,” Pace said. “I mean it’s not as though reporters are hanging out with only Democrats. We have dinners and lunches and coffees with Republicans as well.”
“Right, but it’s part of the establishment,” Spiering responded. “It’s part of the swamp that, you know, the Trump supporters were very sick of.”
Spiering said that the liberal media have a “hostile tone” when reporting on Trump — a much different tone then when covering those who share their worldview, like when reporting on Susan Rice and the recent controversy over her role in unmasking the names of certain people in the Trump campaign picked up in intelligence reports.
“I think what upsets a lot of our readers is when you hear the media being so willing to exonerate Susan Rice, as Jim just did, and they take a completely hostile tone towards the president. But when it comes to people like Susan Rice, they’re not taking the same tone of hostility, and a lot of the news that they publish on that — I think a lot of our readers see that as sort of coming from one side,” Spiering said.
“This is why our readers are so comfortable with the president describing the media as the opposition party,” Spiering said. “They’re getting most of their talking points — a good portion of their sources — from their Democratic friends.
“They didn’t vote for the president,” Spiering said. “They don’t know too many of the president’s supporters, and I think there is a difference in tone coming from the mainstream media versus Breitbart.”
“We’re not the opposition party,” Acosta said. “We are just trying to get at the truth. And when you have a side of the news media that just insists time and again that CNN is out to get the president or out to get certain people in this country, I think it just does a tremendous disservice to all Americans,” he added.
Spiering and Breitbart were also praised during the panel discussion by Glenn Thrush, White House Correspondent for the New York Times.
“Listening to Charlie talk about the notion, the prospect, of having Breitbart holding President Trump accountable for his campaign promises to me is fantastic,” Thrush said. “And I think represents to me — it’s why I love media — and by the way, I’m the exact opposite of Trump on this. I love reporters of all stripes working for all organizations.”
“I feel the lowliest reporter is morally superior to the most exalted flak — that is my sense — and the notion of the conservative media, the ideological media holding the president that they helped elect accountable to me — it’s the ultimate validation of the way that the system is supposed to work,” Thrush said. “I just think it is awesome.”