Journalists voice support for Fox News crew hounded by protesters: ‘Unacceptable’
Journalists across the industry voiced support for Fox News’s Leland Vittert on Saturday after the reporter and his crew were chased and harassed during a protest near the White House on Friday night.
Vittert, who has reported from hot spots including Cairo, Libya and the West Bank, called the incident the scariest situation he’s been in since getting chased out of Tahrir Square by a “mob” during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising in Egypt.
One of Vittert’s two security staffers was punched in the face and knocked to the ground as the team hurriedly exited the park on Friday night.
“This was the scariest situation I’ve been in since I got chased out of Tahrir Square by a mob, and this was equally scary,” said Vittert.
Video captured by the Daily Caller and other outlets of Vittert and his colleagues quickly went viral on social media, prompting other members of the media to voice their support for the TV crew.
This is straight-up assault. Unacceptable. Fox News crew harassed, chased by angry mob while reporting on protests outside White House. https://t.co/jgp37QilFO
— Paul Farhi (@farhip) May 30, 2020
Sorry to see this happen to @LelandVittert. Attacks on journalists and media organizations are wrong without exception.https://t.co/oi66C3AmmZ
— Max Lewis (@MaxLewisTV) May 30, 2020
@LelandVittert Thank you for reporting the news, Leland. What happened last night is nothing short of disgusting. Stand strong. As @BretBaier always says: “Fair, balanced and unafraid.” Thank you once again! @FoxNews
— Ron Christie (@Ron_Christie) May 30, 2020
This is sad, disgraceful, behavior and it accomplishes absolutely nothing. https://t.co/9XVUvwSZUp
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) May 30, 2020
Last night, my @FoxNews colleague & fellow @NorthwesternU @MedillSchool alum @LelandVittert was physically assaulted and robbed by ‘protesters’ during live coverage in the field, along with his crew. This is an unacceptable & outrageous attack on the free press.
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) May 30, 2020
Incredibly impressed and grateful for the work @LelandVittert is doing in front of the White House. This is incredibly difficult to watch, can’t imagine being on the ground. Well done.
— Annie Frey (@anniefreyshow) May 30, 2020
This is horrible, unacceptable and an attack on the First Amendment. https://t.co/qkHJyv6Lrx
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) May 30, 2020
The sentiment comes one day after CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested and later released in Minneapolis by Minnesota state police.
Fox News and MSNBC quickly issued statements of support for CNN on Friday.
“FOX News Channel has always supported the First Amendment and this instance is no different,” the network said in a statement sent to The Hill. “We denounce the detainment of the CNN crew and stand with them in protecting the right to report without fear or favor.”
“We condemn the arrest and detention of a crew of @CNN journalists who were simply doing their jobs in a tough situation on the ground in Minneapolis. This is a time when the work of journalists continues to be necessary to inform and educate the public,” MSNBC said.
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