Following a joint press conference with President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts took heat from reporters and journalists for not immediately coming to the defense of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta after Trump dissed the CNN reporter while saying he doesn’t take questions from “fake news” CNN.
With Acosta’s attempt to ask Trump a question minutes after the president tossed out an unprompted attack on CNN leading to the White House pulling Jake Tapper’s interview with National Security Adviser John Bolton and Roberts continuing to receive criticism, Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz addressed the flap on Sunday’s MediaBuzz. And in his opinion, Roberts and Trump were being unfairly maligned because Acosta was the one who caused the issue in the first place.
“What’s gotten missed in a lot of the controversy here is that he called on John Roberts — Jim Acosta was interrupting,” Kurtz declared. “He was trying to hijack the question which he has done before with President Trump. This is not some scrum where they’re walking to the helicopters and everybody is shouting out.”
The veteran media critic — and former CNN employee — went on to state that “rather than debate CNN” Roberts instead asked his question about Russia and Crimea.
“He took some criticism that I thought was off-base,” he noted. “Others are saying he should have stood up for CNN — in fact, later he did say that there are some good journalists at CNN, which is true, and the president’s criticism was unfair.”
Shortly after Roberts found himself mired in controversy over the presser, he released a statement addressing the matter which included support for NBC News’ Kristen Welker — who the president lashed out at while calling NBC News worse than CNN — while saying it was “unfair” for Trump to call CNN “fake news.” While noting there are “some fine journalists” at CNN, his statement did not reference Acosta by name.
Kurtz would go on to bring up the White House canceling Tapper’s Bolton interview, pointing out that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Acosta “disrespected” Trump and May at the presser and they would not be “rewarding bad behavior” by allowing Bolton to continue with his appearance.
Watch the clip above, via Fox News.