Fox News viewers are livid after the cable news giant stabbed President Donald Trump in the back. The fans of America’s number one news network were outraged on Wednesday when the organization shocked them with its attack on the president, who the network has steadfastly supported.
The situation started on Wednesday afternoon when CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins went after the president during a spray in which she was the pool reporter. A pool reporter is a journalist who is sent to a small event where there is no room for the usual gaggle of media and asks the questions for every new agency. The news organizations then share that reporter’s work.
As the spray was ending, Collins started peppering the president with questions and shouting them as White House staff was attempting to get the media out of the room. “Did Michael Cohen betray you, Mr. President?” she asked two times followed by, “Mr. President, are you worried about what Michael Cohen is about to say to the prosecutors? Are you worried about what is on the other tapes, Mr. President?”
Collins said that White House communications official Bill Shine called her into his office and banned her from the Rose Garden event that followed, but Shine has pushed back on that assertion. “You ask her if we ever used the word ‘ban,'” Shine said to reporters on Thursday. Reporters asked him what word he used, but Shine responded, “When you ask her if we ever use the word ‘ban,’ then I will answer that.”
“They said, ‘You are disinvited from the press availability in the Rose Garden today,'” Collins said on CNN. “They said that the questions I asked were inappropriate for that venue. And they said I was shouting.”
But The White House fired back, stating that it does support a free press, not a rude press. “At the conclusion of the press event in the Oval Office, a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event but made it clear that any other journalist from her network could attend,” she wrote. “She said it didn’t matter to her because she hadn’t planned to be there anyway. To be clear, we support a free press and ask that everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House,” Sanders said.
“I certainly agree that everybody should be respectful of the White House, the people here and the president himself, as I was in my questions, quite respectful, asking the president…. That is just simply how we do it here,” Collins told CNN.
Not surprisingly, CNN backed its reporter. “Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn’t mean the question isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be asked,” it said. “This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better.”
What was a surprise was what Fox News and its staff did. In a statement, the president’s favorite news network said, “We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press,” Fox News president Jay Wallace said in a statement.
“As a member of the White House press pool, Fox stands firmly with CNN on this issue of access,” Fox News host Brett Baier said and, after being attacked by fans of the president, he explained his reasons on Twitter.
“When President Obama’s administration left us out of round robin interviews — CNN and @jaketapper spoke out for us. As a member of the WH press pool – on the news side – that’s what is supposed to happen,” he said.
When President Obama’s administration left us out of round robin interviews — CNN and @jaketapper spoke out for us. As a member of the WH press pool – on the news side – that’s what is supposed to happen. https://t.co/cDci9VUxJP
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) July 26, 2018
“It is wrong to ban members of the WH pool,” Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum said on Twitter.
It is wrong to ban members of the WH pool. https://t.co/ZoqrROsvCy
— Martha MacCallum (@marthamaccallum) July 25, 2018
Is this a new trend, where Fox News will become more like the anti-President Trump mainstream media? Or is this a case of Fox News returning the favor for what CNN did for them during President Obama’s administration? Time will tell. But for now, there are a lot of Fox News fans that are angry and waiting to watch what the network does next.