Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent who is a frequent target of President Donald Trump and his supporters, criticized the Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.
“Hannity is a propagandist for profit, peddling lies every night,” Acosta said on Twitter. “He says he’s just a talk show host, not a journalist. But he’s injecting poison into the nation’s political bloodstream warping public attitudes about the press. I’m confident in the long run the truth will prevail.”
Hannity is one of Trump’s close confidants and a vocal supporter of the president. The opinion-show host responded to Acosta’s criticism with a few broadsides of his own, accusing the veteran journalist of being a “liberal partisan hack.”
He took another swipe at Acosta on Twitter. Hannity frequently rails against critical news coverage about Trump from the pulpit of his prime-time cable program. He has called such reporting “unfair” and accused news outlets of harboring biases against the president.
Joe Concha, a reporter for The Hill, drew comparisons between Acosta and Hannity. Writing on Twitter, Concha referred to the two as “advocates and opinionators” — Hannity as a Trump supporter and Acosta for the “Trump resistance,” according to Concha. That comparison did not go over well with one of Acosta’s CNN colleagues, the reporter Andrew Kaczynski.
“Jim deals in facts and sources,” Kaczynski said in a reply on Twitter. “Hannity is liar who tormented the family of a murdered DNC staffer by spreading a conspiracy about their son stealing hacked emails. Great comparison dude.”
Earlier Wednesday, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, offered only a tepid rebuke for the hostility toward the news media at the Trump rally in Tampa, but she quickly turned some of the blame on reporters and news outlets, calling the give-and-take between the president and the free press a “two-way street.”