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Fox News backs CNN reporter after WH ban

Fox News anchor Bret Baier read a statement from Fox News in support of CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins after she was banned from a White House event.

Posted: Jul 29, 2018 1:52 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2018 2:09 PM

Wednesday's show of solidarity among the press was a welcome sight after years of giddy media-bashing by President Donald Trump, which has gone largely unreproved by his friendliest outlets.

In a rare rebuke from Trump's preferred news outlet, Fox News, anchor Bret Baier read a statement from the network in defense of none other than the President's favorite news foe, CNN:

"Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of the day doesn't mean the question isn't relevant and shouldn't be asked. 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. As a member of the White House press pool, Fox stands firmly with CNN on this issue of access."

Further, Fox News President Jay Wallace, who worked for many years alongside White House deputy chief of staff for communications (and former Fox executive) Bill Shine, issued his own statement, reading: "We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press."

This stunning show of force all came after CNN's Kaitlan Collins, representing five television networks as the pool reporter for the White House press corps, was banned from an open press event in the Rose Garden by Shine and press secretary Sarah Sanders for asking what they deemed inappropriate questions of the President during a pool spray earlier that day. Or, better put, doing her job.

As numerous other reporters have observed on air and on social media, the questions she asked were on point and voiced neither disrespectfully nor loudly. CNN released the questions, which covered Trump's thoughts about Michael Cohen and his relationship with Vladimir Putin, in a statement.

Of course, standing up for competitors in the press used to be a far more usual thing, before Trump. Then-ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper stood up for Fox in 2009 when President Barack Obama implied the latter was not a news organization.

When the Obama administration tried to ban Fox from an interview with a Treasury official, the rest of the pool reporters said essentially, it's all of us or none of us.

But in the Trump era, when only the most fawning loyalty is rewarded with access, that practice of solidarity has largely gone dormant.

It's good to see it make a much-needed comeback.

It actually started two weeks ago when Trump again derided CNN as "fake news" at a press gaggle.

"CNN is fake news," he said to Jim Acosta when he tried to ask a question during Trump's press appearance with Theresa May. "I don't take questions from CNN. Let's go to a real network," he added, giving a question to Fox News' John Roberts.

Instead of using that moment to defend his CNN colleague, Roberts went right along with his question.

But the backlash from his fellow supporters was swift, and he eventually issued a defense of CNN, saying, "There are some fine journalists who work there and risk their lives to report on stories around the world. To issue a blanket condemnation of the network as 'fake news' is also unfair."

And last week, NBC reporter Hallie Jackson asked Sanders a question about Russia at a press briefing, but Sanders wouldn't answer. When she moved on to The Hill's Jordan Fabian, he ceded his time back to Jackson.

If the people who cover this President are realizing his attacks on one are an attack on all, that's a good thing.

Unfortunately, some of the damage is already done. Trump has profited off of his phony and juvenile "fake news" campaign since he came into office -- sowing seeds of doubt in the veracity of verifiable reporting, stoking conspiracy theories that many of his supporters happily propagate and convincing wide swaths of people that the press writ large is an untrustworthy institution. And to great effect -- trust in the media is at record lows.

Gross enough on its face, Trump's undermining of one of America's most important checks on power (like the President's) has been enabled and emboldened by the silence of many people in the very business he maligns.

Going forward, let's hope we see more moments like these, when press outlets stand together regardless of the coverage of the President, instead of the relative silence from some corners that has shrouded Trump's first year and a half in office.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
Lafayette313347
Washington3088106
Lamar281849
Bolivar237883
Oktibbeha237760
Lowndes228362
Neshoba2171113
Panola211047
Marshall207247
Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
Monroe189577
Sunflower189554
Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
Copiah158840
Yazoo150638
Scott149929
Coahoma147342
Itawamba145533
Alcorn143724
Simpson143553
Pearl River142967
Prentiss139526
Grenada136344
Adams135948
Leake131643
Holmes124461
George121623
Tippah120930
Covington117234
Winston115824
Wayne115722
Hancock114137
Marion110746
Attala106233
Tishomingo106042
Newton102829
Chickasaw102332
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
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