An anchor for Fox News, which liberals so cheekily call Donald Trump’s “state media,” slammed the president after he criticized two Fox journalists over their coverage of his border wall negotiations.
“This is NOT right,” Fox anchor Julie Banderas tweeted. “I stand by my colleagues [John Roberts] and [Gillian Turner]. They don’t deserve this. No reporter does,” she tweeted.
@realDonaldTrump This is NOT right. I stand by my colleagues @johnrobertsFox and @GillianHTurner They don’t deserve this. No reporter does. They are doing their jobs and reporting the facts. They are not opinion journalists and deserve the respect from the @WhiteHouse they cover. https://t.co/ftRPauopjC
— Julie Banderas (@JulieBanderas) January 28, 2019
Fox journalist criticizes Trump
Trump knocked the two Fox journalists, John Roberts and Gillian Turner, on Sunday for their apparent cluelessness on the wall. Trump said that the pair “have even less understanding of the Wall negotiations than the folks at FAKE NEWS CNN & NBC!”
It’s not clear what exactly Trump took issue with on their coverage, but Trump’s barbs came days after he said that he would sign a bill to temporarily re-open the government, which prompted a storm of commentary in the media that he had “caved” on the wall. Trump went on to cite poll numbers which show that his approval among Hispanic Americans has increased.
Never thought I’d say this but I think @johnrobertsFox and @GillianHTurner @FoxNews have even less understanding of the Wall negotiations than the folks at FAKE NEWS CNN & NBC! Look to final results! Don’t know how my poll numbers are so good, especially up 19% with Hispanics?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2019
Banderas snapped back at Trump the next day and defended her fellow anchors who she said were simply “doing their jobs.”
“They are doing their jobs and reporting the facts,” she said. “They are not opinion journalists and deserve the respect from the [White House] they cover.”
Some users criticized Banderas for appearing to argue that journalists shouldn’t be criticized, but Banderas responded with arguments that could have been forwarded by CNN’s Jim Acosta, making out journalists to be the victims and citing freedom of the press as an inviolate shield against presidential criticism.
“By going on Twitter and insulting two of our journalists @realDonaldTrump is putting a target on their backs. In turn his followers will then attack @johnrobertsFox and @GillianHTurner in support on Twitter. Bullying journalists is not Presidential. Period.”
Banderas responded to another user by saying that the president should not lash out at the press because “that’s not how this country works” and that Trump’s barbs go against freedom of the press.
Trump often blasts CNN, the Washington Post, and The New York Times for their hostile coverage of his administration, but it is less common for the network that broadcasts Sean Hannity to criticize Trump. All the same, it is not entirely out of the ordinary.
The spat may be further evidence of what some viewers see as a leftward drift at the network, even as left-wing critics of the outlet call it a propaganda machine for the Trump administration. Some Fox pundits, including Shepard Smith, are notoriously critical of Trump and seem to be there for the sole purpose of providing liberals with a reason to watch.
In November, Fox also joined the rest of the mainstream media in denouncing Trump’s decision to revoke Jim Acosta’s White House press pass. Fox filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Acosta, who eventually received his pass back.
Critics of the media often liken journalists to a class who cover for each other when criticized and share the same political views and interests. Banderas seemed to hint at this class-solidarity among journalists — even at Fox, apparently — in a response to another critic who claimed that she had not “stood up” for liberal journalists the last few years.
“I have always stood up for journalists no matter what network they work for. We all should support each other,” she said.
Fox executives also rebuked hosts Sean Hannity and Jeannine Pirro for appearing with Trump at a campaign rally in the midterms. The decision reportedly angered many Fox journalists.