The crowd was menacing, some leaning over the barrier of the media pen, chanting: “CNN sucks! CNN sucks!” It was a chilly night in November 2016, the final day of campaigning before the US presidential elections. We were in an airport hangar in Moon Township, Pittsburgh, waiting for Donald Trump to make a stop to address the 9,000-strong crowd before flying off to another rally.

As the crowd hurled profanities, I looked around to gauge the reaction. Dozens of journalists from American and international media organisations were going about their work, oblivious of the crowd.

Behind me, CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta was dozing in a chair. He looked exhausted and bored. It was a very different Acosta who tried posing questions to Trump at a media briefing in Washington after the midterm elections this week.

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