President Donald Trump made waves yet again on his trip across the pond at a joint press conference between Trump and Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May.
After refusing a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta—familiarly dismissing the network as fake news—Trump deferred instead to John Roberts of Fox News, saying:
“CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from CNN.John Roberts from Fox. Let’s go to a real network.”
"CNN is fake news. I don't take questions from CNN. John Roberts from Fox. Let's go to a real network." pic.twitter.com/e2TcEu6G7e
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 13, 2018
It wasn’t long before people on Twitter began calling out Roberts for not standing up for CNN:
For John Roberts to play along and ask his question instead of turning the floor back over to CNN is shameful and plays perfectly into Trump's hands of silencing media outlets he doesn't like and furthers Fox's status as State Media. https://t.co/TEigzHxmFk
— Avi (@AviAhvee) July 13, 2018
Fox "News" reporter John Roberts had an opportunity to defend journalism when Trump attacked CNN, called Fox "real" news, and gave Roberts the floor.
Instead, he said, "Thank you, Mr. President," and asked his question. A defining moment in his career…
— Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) July 13, 2018
In response, John Roberts took to his air to clear things up and defend his former employer.
I also used to work at CNN. 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.
But some damage had already been done.
Every journalist at the Trump/May press conference who stayed seated as he refused to take a question from CNN has just betrayed our profession. They should all have left. This is not acceptable.
— Bill Thompson (@billt) July 13, 2018
Trump says that he won't take questions from CNN because they are "fake news," then says in the same breath that he will take a question from Fox because they are a "real network."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 13, 2018
Old enough to remember when other networks came to the defense of Fox News WH correspondents during the Obama years. Such did not happen here.
Lesson for the kids out there: no one should ever try to do the right thing with the expectation it will ever be reciprocated. https://t.co/Ym7E94k2Wz
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 13, 2018
Tapper is referring to an Obama-era incident in which he challenged the administration after they determined Fox News was “not a real news organization.” Tapper defended Fox against then-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:
I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” — why is that appropriate for the White House to say?
CNN wasn’t the only network the president vilified during the press conference.