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Ex-CNN Producer: Jim Acosta Gives Journalists ‘Bad Name’ with MD Shooting Antics

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: CNN's Jim Acosta attends the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts 2017 Noche de Gala at The Mayflower Hotel on September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images for National Hispanic Foundation For The Arts)
Shannon Finney/Getty Images for National Hispanic Foundation For The Arts

A former CNN producer criticized White House correspondent Jim Acosta on Friday for blaming the deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper on President Donald Trump.

President Trump addressed the shooting at an event celebrating the six-month anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and described the deadly attack as one that “filled our hearts with grief.”

“This attack shocked the conscience of our nation and filled our hearts with grief. Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” President Trump said.

”Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs. To the families of the victims there are no words to express our sorrow for your loss. Horrible, horrible event. Horrible thing happened,” he added.

The comments prompted Acosta to shout, “Will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people?”

The President did not respond.

Shortly after, the anti-Trump journalist took to Twitter to voice his frustration over the lack of response.

“I tried to ask the president if he would stop calling us the enemy of the people. He did not respond,” Acosta lamented.

Former CNN senior digital producer Steve Krakauer took the network’s White House correspondent to task for attempting to pin the shooting on President Trump’s criticisms of the establishment media.

“Truly an embarrassment, on multiple levels. Jim Acosta’s self-serving antics give all good journalists a bad name,” tweeted Krakauer in response to Acosta’s outburst.

“On a day journalists could honor the memory of fellow reporters tragically killed due to a deranged person with a vendetta going back years, Acosta tries to shift the blame to Trump, thus validating many Americans’ feelings about the Acela Media (that existed long before Trump),” he added.

The alleged gunman who killed five people at a Maryland newspaper has been identified as Jarrod Ramos, a man who had a feud with the paper going back many years. The shooting does not appear to have been politically motivated.

Ramos, 38, pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal harassment on July 26, 2011, and was given a suspended 90-day jail sentence. Five days later, the Capital Gazette newspaper published a story about Ramos’ case, which involved stalking and harassing a woman on Facebook, USA Today reported.

The story, written by Capital Gazette staff writer Eric Thomas Hartley, was titled “Jarrod wants to be your friend” and included details of Ramos’ case. Ramos reached out to the woman, who was not named in the story, “out of the blue” to thank her for “being the only person to ever say hello or be nice to him in high school.”

The woman didn’t know who Ramos was but responded and began a friendly, if awkward, email exchange. Ramos apparently divulged information about personal problems and the woman suggested he see a counselor and thought she was being kind.

But her suggestion “sparked months of emails in which Ramos alternately asked for help, called her vulgar names, and told her to kill herself,” the article states. Ramos also “emailed her company
and tried to get her fired.”

The harassment went on for several months, eventually ending in Ramos’ conviction and 90-day suspended sentence. And afterward, he directed his anger towards the Capital Gazette for printing the story about him.

In 2012, Ramos sued Hartley and his newspaper for defamation. But during a hearing on March 29, 2013, Judge Maureen M. Lamasney threw out the case.

Ramos later appealed Lamasney’s decision. But on September 17, 2015, the judge’s ruling was affirmed in the Maryland Court of Appeals.

The United Press International contributed to this report. 

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