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People at a Make America Great Again rally in Tampa, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The media — and CNN specifically — was greeted by a particularly hostile crowd at President Trump's rally in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday.

The big picture: While nothing new, the video footage of Trump supporters shouting at and giving the middle finger to CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta and other media personnel was striking. As the midterm elections near — and Trump hits the road six days a week for Republican candidates — expect plenty more where this came from.

The scene in Tampa
What they're saying
  • Trump's son, Eric, tweeted video of rally-goers chanting "CNN sucks" behind Acosta, adding "#Truth." It was retweeted by the president.
  • Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications director, tweeted: "This isn’t our best. It’s not who we are. I don’t always agree and am often upset with journalists but we are flashing warning lights now that we shouldn’t be flashing. The free press needs to be protected as well as their opinions. That’s why that Amendment was First."
  • Political analyst Larry Sabato tweeted: "Disgusting, disgraceful, and unworthy of anyone who respects the First Amendment — not to mention basic manners. POTUS and his crew refuse to put a stop to this. Future generations will wonder why we the people let this happen, and there’s no good answer. Mob rule, pure & simple."
  • Conservative commentator Stephen Miller said: "Trump's rallies are ridiculous & I wish he didn't make the country a part of his personal blowing off steam, but Acosta's Braveheart act is just as equally ridiculous. ... Trump and the media who gave him 5 billion in free advertising to prop him up as a foil for Hillary deserve each other. Simple as that."
  • Acosta himself tweeted: "It was great chatting with all the Trump supporters in Tampa tonight. I took more questions from them than the president has taken from the press lately."

The bottom line: The vitriol between Trump's orbit and the press is only increasing and there will be increasing opportunities in the months to come for Trump's rally crowds to make their voices heard.

  • Flashback: Axios CEO Jim Vandehei spoke about Trump supporters' hostility toward the media last year on MSNBC's "Morning Joe": "He's playing with fire, and when someone gets hurt because of the words that he says and the provocations that he makes, that's on him."

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

2 hours ago - World

Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.

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