CNN anchor Jim Acosta is utterly unsparing in his criticism of rival network Fox News — dismissing the network as a “bullshit factory” and going hard at one of their lead hosts.
Speaking with Mediaite’s Aidan McLaughlin for this week’s episode of The Interview podcast, the CNN anchor bashed Fox News for what he deemed to be an increasing trend towards outrage content. Acosta highlighted the network’s call of Arizona for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election as a point at which they could have “come back to the real world.” Instead, the CNN anchor believes Fox has tried to cater to its audience, in a bid to claw back viewers from OAN and Newsmax, with what he labeled “more Trumpian” programming.
“What they’ve decided to do since [the election] is double down on being what I call the bullshit factory,” Acosta said. “They churn out segments that gin up outrage that they know is going to piss off their viewers and so on — even if it’s cockamamy made up nonsense. And they do it for the simple reason of attracting viewers, and ginning up the ratings.”
Asked by McLaughlin whether it’s “fair game” for him to cover Fox News, Acosta argued that he cannot ignore the happenings at the rival network.
“I’ve thought long and hard about this,” Acosta said. “And my attitude is that we have to talk about it, we have to cover it. Do we need to do it every hour of every day? No, we don’t. But if Trump or his lackeys go on Fox, and they spew this nonsense about the election, and they’re not fact checked in real time, then they’re operating as propagandists. And they’re doing a bad thing for this country.”
Acosta says that he has fans at the network who quietly urged him to take on the Trump administration.
“There were people at Fox who were pinging me during the Trump presidency saying, ‘Way to go, Jim. Keep going,’ and so on,” Acosta said. “I know there are folks out there who want to do the right thing. But to some to some extent, they’ve decided to become something like the tobacco industry where they’ve decided, ‘OK, we know we make a product that harms people, but we’re but we’re just going to have to double down and do it because it’s just making a shit-ton of money.’”
The CNN weekend anchor concluded by taking aim at the current cable news ratings king, Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
“He has these moments where he just sounds like a race-baiting tyrant,” Acosta said. “And it’s like, what is he doing? What is that? It’s ginning up anger, and rage, and frustration in a certain segment of the American public. And I do think it does just a great deal of harm to this country.”
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