President Donald Trump — along with his wife Melania, eldest daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner — traveled to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to comfort and console the community while paying respects to the victims of the anti-Semitic mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue last weekend — but some reports didn’t characterize the president’s trip as the respectful visit that it was.
Even Fox News’ chief White House correspondent John Roberts focused on the opposition in his reports of the president’s trip, falsely implying that so-called Jewish leaders in Pittsburgh failed to welcome Trump to their hometown.
In fact, Breitbart reported that a number of media outlets ran with stories on Monday that claimed that the community’s “Jewish leaders” wanted Trump to more forcefully and explicitly condemn “white nationalism” before visiting their city — a “fake news” story that Roberts uncritically perpetuated at least three times on the air on Monday.
Leftist PAC perpetuates fake news
Despite the implication that all “Jewish leaders” in Pittsburgh had denounced Trump’s planned visit with survivors, it turned out that the so-called leaders cited by the media were members of a left-wing political action committee known as “Bend the Arc,” which is wholly committed to seeing leftist progressive Democrats elected to high office.
The Bend the Arc PAC was founded by Alex Soros — son of leftist billionaire and progressive financier George Soros — and, according to Politico in 2015, the group “will back progressive candidates by making direct contributions to their campaign committees. It will focus on issues such as income inequality, marriage equality, social justice and immigration reform.”
However, the actual “Jewish leader” of the targeted temple — Tree of Life synagogue Rabbi Jeffrey Myers — said on Monday that “the president of the United States is always welcome. I’m a citizen, he is my president. He is certainly welcome.”
Roberts continues false narrative
Despite this, Roberts pressed White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at Monday’s media briefing: “Eleven Jewish leaders in the Pittsburgh area say that the president’s visit is not welcome, unless and until he denounces fully and forthrightly white nationalism. Does the White House believe this president has done enough to denounce white nationalism?”
As she has done previously in response to the repeated liberal narrative that Trump is a hateful bigoted racist, Sanders replied: “The president has denounced racism, hatred, and bigotry in all forms on a number of occasions. We’ll continue to do that. I’m doing it here today.”
Nevertheless, Roberts repeated the false narrative that all “Jewish leaders” in Pittsburgh stood opposed to the president’s visit at least two more times on Monday, first during Shepard Smith’s mid-afternoon news program and again during Bret Baier’s Special Report in the early evening.
Neither anchor pushed back against the false insinuation from Roberts’ report.
John Roberts is far from being the worst of the anti-Trump journalists in the media, but his disdain for the president has been made obvious before — and it shouldn’t be all that surprising that he would either willingly spread “fake news” against Trump or uncritically accept the narrative and help pass it along without fully checking it out himself.
By no means does Roberts have to like the president; most viewers don’t care if a reporter personally likes the subject of their story or not. But viewers do expect journalists — especially from Fox News — to be forthright and transparent in their reports, to share all sides of a story, and allow viewers to reach their own conclusions, rather than spread only misleading parts of a story with an intent to push viewers into a particular predetermined conclusion.