As part of Variety‘s cover story on media in the Trump era, three White House correspondents sat down with Variety politics reporter Ted Johnson to discuss navigating the Trump era of fake news.
Jim Acosta, chief White House correspondent for CNN, said he thinks Trump uses the term “fake news” when he wants to go after the media for stories he doesn’t like.
“It’s sort of like ‘You’re fired,’ it’s a catchphrase, it’s a marketing term that he uses,” he said. “I’m not sure he necessarily means that he thinks that we’re all spreading false stories.”
Ashley Parker, a White House reporter for the Washington Post, agreed, saying that “fake news doesn’t in any way mean that the story is fake or false or inaccurate. What is most frequently means is that it bothered the president and he’s really upset about it.”
April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks (AURN), concurred and added that European leaders she’s talked to overseas are very concerned. She emphasized that freedom of the press is enshrined in the Constitution, which President Trump took an oath to uphold when he entered office.
“He’s really being a hypocrite when he’s calling us fake news and undermining us,” she said. “We are part of the pillars of this nation.”
Watch the full video above.