By Rachel Stoltzfoos, DCNF
A Fox News reporter trashed a Gateway Pundit reporter in the White House briefing room Friday, loudly telling everyone in the room the publication “hates” minorities including blacks and Hispanics.
“They hate blacks, Jews, Hispanics,” Fox radio correspondent John Decker said, calling attention to the Gateway Pundit reporter’s presence in the briefing room. Decker also emailed the White House press listserv, which includes thousands of reporters, to inform them the White House had admitted Gateway Pundit into the briefing.
“Wild,” Buzzfeed White House correspondent Adrian Carrasquillo tweeted in response to the incident, adding that he saw Decker pointing at the reporter Lucian Wintrich while repeating the accusation a second time to ensure everyone knew who he was talking about.
Gateway Pundit is a site that traffics in conspiracy theories and has built a reputation for lying and misinforming readers in its stories. Wintrich has personally tweeted out controversial statements and memes, including a derogatory comment on women gaining the right to vote.
Several reporters shook Decker’s hand as a sign of appreciation for his comments, according to an unnamed White House reporter quoted by Politico. “Props to Jon Decker for speaking up in the press room,” the reporter said. “It would be much harder for a minority reporter to speak up like he did. As a member of the WHCA board and as a white man him standing up and saying that meant a lot to reporters in the room.”
Wintrich later accused Decker of assaulting him in the briefing room, and said he plans to press charges in a tweet. “This man accosted me,” he told his outlet. “He pushed me in the back room and then grabbed my arm. He started screaming to the entire press room that I’m a Nazi and The Gateway Pundit is a white supremacist publication.”
— Lucian B. Wintrich (@lucianwintrich) March 10, 2017
Decker and Fox News denied the assault. “Earlier today I had a conversation with a representative from the online publication Gateway Pundit,” Decker said in a statement obtained by Politico. “The conversation was straightforward and direct. I also informed the full White House pool that this representative was present in the Briefing Room. At no time did I accost or assault this individual. More than a dozen witnesses will attest to this fact.”
Following the briefing April Ryan, Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks, approached Wintrich and asked him about the incident. “Are you a racist? People are saying you’re racist,” she said.
— Chris Sheridan (@ChrisSheridan34) March 10, 2017
Wintrich replied “no” and denied Decker’s characterizations.
The White House press corps has not taken kindly to the Trump administration’s decision to open up the briefings and give questions to reporters from outlets they don’t respect, such as Breitbart News and of course in this case Gateway Pundit. Breitbart’s White House correspondent Charlie Spiering defended Wintrich on Twitter, saying he has “every right” to attend the briefing and ask questions.
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