- A Fox News reporter accused two colleagues of sounding like “something you’d read in a White Supremacist chat room” in internal emails published by FTV Live on Thursday.
- In the emails, two Fox reporters appeared to defend two white-supremacist protesters who attended the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia, “Unite the Right” rally in August 2017.
- “Based upon the slew of emails that I’ve received today, both of you should send an apology to your Fox News colleagues,” the Fox News reporter Jon Decker wrote in an email. “Your posts read like something you’d read on a White Supremacist chat room.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A Fox News reporter accused two colleagues of sounding like “something you’d read in a White Supremacist chat room” in internal emails concerning President Donald Trump’s controversial remarks that “very fine people” were on “both sides” of a deadly August 2017 white supremacist protest.
The remarks came after Doug McKelway, a Fox general-assignment reporter, sent an email to hundreds of Fox colleagues suggesting that former Vice President Joe Biden had mischaracterized Trump’s comments about the “Unite the Right” protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
McKelway wrote in the subject line, “Putting this Biden statement out there, next to Trump’s original presser, and a live interview I did in C-ville with ‘good people on both sides.'”
The “live interview” McKelway referred to featured Brian Lambert, a “Unite the Right” protester who said that the free-speech rights of the rally’s attendees were being violated.
Another Fox reporter, Cody Derespina, sent a reply-all message to that email with excerpts from a Fox story in which Jarrod Kuhn, a 21-year-old protester, said he was not a neo-Nazi or a white supremacist but was instead at the event only to oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Derespina and McKelway were then rebuked by a colleague who said that Kuhn was photographed carrying a torch alongside hundreds of white-supremacist protesters yelling racist and anti-Semitic chants.
“I really don’t understand the point you are making,” Jon Decker, Fox News Radio’s White House correspondent, wrote. “Jarrod Kuhn was one of those individuals in Charlottesville holding a tiki torch while the mob chanted ‘Jews will not replace us.'”
McKelway later replied to Decker’s message and appeared to walk back his claims.
“[I]t appears Lambert revealed himself to be not the squeaky clean 1st amendment supporter he claimed to be on live TV,” McKelway wrote, including a link to a Charlottesville local-news story.
Decker wrote in another email on Thursday evening, “Based upon the slew of emails that I’ve received today, both of you should send an apology to your Fox News colleagues – many of whom are hurt and infuriated by your respective posts. Your posts read like something you’d read on a White Supremacist chat room.”
A spokesperson for Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the emails.
While some Fox reporters criticised the president’s “both sides” comments in 2017, prominent Fox personalities, including Jesse Watters and Sean Hannity, defended Trump’s remarks and instead attacked the media.
On Friday morning, Trump again defended his 2017 comments.
“I was talking about people who felt very strong about the monument to [Confederate general] Robert E. Lee,” Trump said, referring to the statue removal that sparked the protest.
Trump tries to defend his Charlottesville response by praising Robert E. Lee.
He claims the 'very fine people' remark was about people who "felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee. A great general, whether you like it or not."
Via Politico pic.twitter.com/01W4IwGx8y
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 26, 2019
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.