If the first “sh*t storm” of a presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is remembered for anything (although I pray that it’s forgotten and never spoken of again), it will be for the president refusing to condemn white supremacists. Even Fox News, which generally sides with Trump on, well, everything, has been criticizing #45. Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade said on Wednesday that he “ruined the biggest layup in the history of debates by not condemning white supremacists,” while John Roberts is “tired” of the president’s refusal to say anything bad about the far-right group Proud Boys.
During a heated press conference on Thursday, Roberts asked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for a “declarative statement” explicitly condemning white supremacy on Trump’s behalf. She didn’t. Instead, she accused the reporter (and presumably, every non-Breitbart outlet) of “contriving a storyline and a narrative.” If you look closely in the clip below, you can pinpoint the exact moment Roberts snapped.
Fox News Correspondent John Roberts = over it.
Watch this. pic.twitter.com/FoeVTfZlec
— The Recount (@therecount) October 1, 2020
“For all of you on Twitter who are hammering me for asking that question: I don’t care,” snapped Roberts. “Because it is a question that needs to be asked, and clearly, the president’s Republican colleagues a mile away from here are looking for an answer for it, too. So stop deflecting, stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it.”
Don’t give Fox News too much credit, however. Following Roberts’ report, pundit Bill Bennett defended Trump (“I’m sorry [Roberts is] angry, but he’s just wrong”), while host Melissa Francis said, “I feel like we have had this specific conversation so many times. And it’s so easy to predict what the response in the media is going to be. They have decided he is a racist. So just go with that. Why are we still treading this territory?”
The election is in 32 days.