CNN’s Don Lemon rushed to defend his colleague, White House correspondent Jim Acosta, after his heated clash with President Donald Trump resulted in his hard pass to the White House being suspended, but he played a different tune when a similar incident happened with former President Barack Obama.
Watch Acosta interrupt Trump below:
“You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN,” Trump told CNN’s Jim Acosta during a press conference in which he repeatedly clashed with reporters. pic.twitter.com/OvWCcFap5g
— POLITICO (@politico) November 7, 2018
During his broadcast of “CNN Tonight,” Lemon slammed Trump and praised Acosta for “trying to do [his] job.”
Watch Lemon defend Acosta below:
“You just heard [Trump] threatening the Mueller investigation. He also threatened reporters as well, so this is an angry exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta, NBC’s Peter Alexander, full of down and dirty, personal insults simply because reporters are trying to do their jobs, which is to ask the president questions.”
As IJR reported, there was a clear divide between how right-leaning viewers saw Acosta’s behavior and how other media saw the behavior.
The president just called @Acosta a terrible person. and "the enemy of the people." @PeterAlexander defended him as a diligent reporter. Both reporters handled themselves gracefully in the face of a disgusting spectacle.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) November 7, 2018
Two things can be true at once:
1. Trump's statements on the press are wrong.
2. Jim Acosta is a disgrace to his alleged profession.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 7, 2018
But this divide on the standard of behavior between for reporters didn’t always exist. In fact, when Neil Munro, a Daily Caller reporter, interrupted Obama, nearly everyone, including Lemon, called him out.
Watch Munro interrupt Obama below:
Watch Lemon condemn Munro’s behavior:
“Some in the conservative media have called Munro’s hissy fit refreshing, most, thankfully, have denounced it. […] As a journalist, I know there are ways to get my questions answered. It may not always be on the timeline I want, but there’s always a way to do it, and Mr. Munro interrupting the leader of the free world, at the White House, in front of an international audience is not the way, and quite frankly, you’re the one who should be answering and asking questions of yourself.”
The standard of respect that a president is owed seems to have shifted in the mind of Lemon and many of his peers.