Saturday, October 24, 2020
Home Global Jennifer Griffin defended by Fox News colleagues after Trump Twitter attack over...

Jennifer Griffin defended by Fox News colleagues after Trump Twitter attack over confirmation of Atlantic reporting

Jennifer Griffin caused an unexpected media firestorm Friday when she did something fairly routine for a reporter: A competitor had broken a story on her beat, so she set out to see whether she could match it.

In this case, it was the Atlantic’s blockbuster report that President Trump had made disparaging remarks about veterans. Griffin, a national security correspondent for Fox News, found sources to validate key aspects of the story, sharing her reporting on Twitter and on anchor Bret Baier’s news show.

Other beat reporters had confirmed aspects of the Atlantic story, too. But the fact that Griffin works for Fox, whose opinion hosts and corporate owners are seen as reliable supporters and defenders of the president, turned her revelations into a watershed development. It led to Trump’s call for her firing late Friday on Twitter — and an impassioned pushback from Fox News colleagues defending her journalistic honor.

In a nine-tweet thread Friday afternoon, Griffin cited two unnamed former senior administration officials who she said confirmed for her many key aspects of Atlantic Editor in Chief Jeffrey Goldberg’s story about Trump’s cancellation of a trip to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery while visiting Paris in 2018.

“According to one former senior Trump administration official: ‘When the President spoke about the Vietnam War, he said, ‘It was a stupid war. Anyone who went was a sucker,’ ” she wrote. “When asked IF the President could have driven to the Aisne-Marne Cemetery, this former official said confidently: ‘The President drives a lot. The other world leaders drove to the cemeteries. He just didn’t want to go.’ ”

Later, she noted on Baier’s “Special Report” show that she was unable to confirm “the most salacious allegation,” in Goldberg’s story, “that the president described the American war dead at the Aisne-Marne Cemetery as ‘suckers’ and ‘losers.’ ”

Just before midnight Friday, the president shared a story about Griffin’s reporting and said, “Jennifer Griffin should be fired for this kind of reporting. Never even called us for comment. @FoxNews is gone!”

Before the president took aim at her reporting, Griffin took veiled shots from some of her colleagues, most notably contributor Mollie Hemingway, a senior editor for the Federalist. After Fox News national correspondent Jacqui Heinrich shared Griffin’s reporting, Hemingway wrote: “Reminder: it is literally impossible for anonymous sources to ‘confirm’ a report, particularly when the original report is based solely on anonymous sources. The same people can repeat claims to multiple reporters, of course, particularly when engaged in a campaign operation.”

Elsewhere on Fox News, Griffin’s reporting did not seem to persuade some of her colleagues, includingThe Five” co-host Greg Gutfeld, who called the Atlantic’s story “a hoax” and “a scam” that was “created in a lab.”

But Trump’s attack on Griffin was a bridge too far for her colleagues, seven of whom took to Twitter over the weekend to defend her.

“Jennifer @JenGriffinFNC is a great reporter and a total class act,” wrote Baier, the network’s chief political anchor.

“Jennifer Griffin is the kind of reporter we all strive to be like,” said national correspondent Bryan Llenas. “She’s courageous, smart, ethical, fair and a class act. She’s earned the trust of viewers throughout a distinguished career and is credibile.”

“@JenGriffinFNC is a terrific reporter and a wonderful colleague,” State Department correspondent Rich Edson wrote.

“I’ll forever stand by @JenGriffinFNC,” said senior news producer Rocco Aloe.

“Jennifer Griffin is all you want in a journalist and a friend,” wrote senior field producer Yonat Friling. “She’s smart, courageous, she strives for professionalism and the truth. I am so proud to be her colleague.”

Although Griffin’s reporter, producer and anchor colleagues defended her from criticism, Fox News Channel has not yet commented on Trump’s attack, in line with how the network has handled broadsides from the president throughout his administration.

Griffin, who joined Fox News in 1999, is one of the network’s most prized and distinguished journalists. In October 2019, after news anchor Shepard Smith, a frequent critic of the president, abruptly resigned, the network cited Griffin as evidence that a robust journalistic corps remained, despite external skepticism. “Tell that to Jennifer Griffin, whose report just went viral this week,” a spokesperson said at the time. “Or Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum or Catherine Herridge, who have all done outstanding journalism.” (Herridge soon left the network for CBS News.)

“Jennifer is a straight shooter and always pursues reporting with the goal of uncovering the truth,” former Fox News foreign correspondent Conor Powell, who worked with Griffin, told The Washington Post on Saturday. “Unlike a lot of ‘news people’ at Fox News, she never was worried about being on the wrong side of a story and angering the opinion shows.”

Griffin defended herself during an appearance on Fox News on Saturday. “My sources are unimpeachable,” she said. “I feel very confident with what we have reported at Fox. Not every line of the Atlantic article did I confirm, but I would say that most of the descriptions and the quotes in that Atlantic article, I did find people who were able to confirm, and so I feel very confident in my reporting. … I’m a reporter, and it was my job to report what I heard.”

Anchor Neil Cavuto then endorsed her work. “Jennifer, you are a very good reporter,” he told her. Then, addressing his audience, he said, “She’s pretty scrupulous when it comes to making sure all the i’s are dotted, all the t’s are crossed.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Ryder Cup 2010

McDowell knew the Twenty Ten course like the back of his hand. He’d won the Wales Open on the course that year and during a period when he lived in Cardiff he used the venue as his practice area.As the match descended into the home stretch McDowell sunk a 15-foot birdie to go 2-up on…

GB’s Evans calls opponents ’embarrassing’

Evans was knocked out in the singles in the first round by Kei Nishikori of JapanBritain's Dan Evans said his doubles opponents were "embarrassing" after becoming involved in an on-court row at the French Open.The British singles number one and Polish partner Hubert Hurkacz beat Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Brazilian Marcel Demoliner in the first…

US team walks off after ‘homophobic slur’

Collin Martin (pictured playing for former club Minnesota United) came out as gay in 2018Landon Donovan said his San Diego Loyal "would not stand" for bigotry having left the pitch in protest after an alleged homophobic comment was aimed at openly gay midfielder Collin Martin.An opposition player from Phoenix Rising was accused of making the…

As colleges reopened, many more young people got covid-19, CDC reports – msnNOW

Covid-19 cases surged nationally among 18- to 22-year-olds between Aug. 2 and Sept. 5, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which urged young adults as well as colleges and universities to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.Weekly cases among the age group jumped 55…