Fox News correspondent John Roberts came under fire on Friday after declining to come to the aid of his fellow reporter Jim Acosta after Trump lambasted the journalist and CNN as “fake news.”
“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,” said CNN host Jake Tapper.
“Lesson for the kids out there: no one should ever try to do the right thing with the expectation it will ever be reciprocated.”
Tapper’s jab refers to a moment in 2010 during a period of heightened tensions between President Obama and Fox News, in which Fox’s media competitors warned they they would not tolerate the president blocking Fox News from an interview with a White House official.
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
During his joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump made it clear that he would not take any questions from his CNN nemesis, because he didn’t take questions from “fake news.”
“No, No, CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from CNN,” said Trump.
“John Roberts from Fox,” he continued. “Let’s go to a real network.”
Roberts did not stand up for his fourth estate colleague and instead used the opportunity to casually move into his own question.
The criticism came swift on Twitter. Following Tapper’s lead, media blue checks and the peanut gallery piled on.
Of course, John Roberts of Fox didn't use his time to defend CNN. Why would state TV go to bat for journalism? https://t.co/xccrMb1mMJ
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) July 13, 2018
@johnrobertsFox You A great guy and a great reporter. Why did you Pass on the opportunity to stand up for our fellow journalist . A call to all journalists, do not allow the president to bash the media.
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) July 13, 2018
John Roberts of Fox is an asshole for taking the mike off a Trump attack on a free press. He should have declined
— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) July 13, 2018
So disappointed in #Fox News John Roberts for ignoring Trumps condemnation of CNN as fake news instead of taking a stand & supporting his fellow journalists!
— KTH (@kth01) July 13, 2018
How embarassing for John Roberts of Fox that he asked a question after this https://t.co/BGeflqZK1a
— Matthew Garrahan (@MattGarrahan) July 13, 2018
That Fox doesn’t push back on this, and shows no sign of discomfort at being treated as the president’s pet network, tells you all you need to know https://t.co/aiua2w0zMI
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) July 13, 2018
“In today’s press conference, I paused while my colleague from CNN went back and forth with President Trump over a question. When it became clear that the president wasn’t going to entertain a question from him, I proceeded with my question, as did my fellow colleagues in the press corps,” said Roberts in a statement.
“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.”