ABC News’s Jonathan Karl spoke to Mediaite about the press’s relationship with President Donald Trump this week, saying it was “really unfortunate” that somehow the public got the idea that the Washington media is opposed to the president in some way. Karl, who is the network’s chief White House correspondent, told the outlet that pool reporters are merely doing their jobs.
“I do believe that unfortunately, there is a big chunk of the country that believes that the press is now the resistance and I think it’s really unfortunate and I think that it has negative consequences for a free press. I think it has negative consequences for our democracy,” Karl said. “But I think that the aggressive questioning of the president, particularly now in the wake of what we’ve seen unfold with the pandemic is absolutely necessary. Not only justified but necessary.”
Karl himself has had some not-so-kind things to say about CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who regularly used White House briefings as an excuse to put on a clown show that served no purpose other than to give his own career a boost.
But in the interview, Karl appeared to take back that criticism.
“The events that have played out since those early days of the Trump White House have in some ways vindicated Jim Acosta,” Karl said. “I think that Jim was right to be outraged that the president was declaring the free press the ‘enemy of the people.’ I was too. He expressed it in a more pointed way and I respect that. And frankly, if I was writing the book right now, I would probably write a little bit differently about Jim. I understand fully where he was coming from. I wouldn’t have done it in the same way, I didn’t do it in the same way, but I understand where he was coming from.”
Karl went on to say that he was absolutely not an anti-Trump activist.
“I’m not part of the resistance,” Karl said. “I’m not his political opponent. I don’t want people to see me in there and think I’m just out to get him. But I also have something that is more important than all of those things. And that is that the reporter’s first loyalty must be to pursuing the truth. And part of pursuing the truth is using clarity of language.”
Here’s a thought: Don’t BE part of the resistance, and no one will THINK you’re part of the resistance. It’s actually…it’s actually not that hard.