A White House reporter who serves as a CNN contributor is accusing first lady Melania Trump’s spokesperson of creating an “atmosphere of hate.”
The back-and-forth is the latest public feud between an administration official and journalists over the reliability of media. The reporter, April Ryan, has frequently sparred with White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the past.
On Saturday afternoon, Ryan tweeted a link to a story from The Root titled “Is the Trump Administration Running a Child-Trafficking Ring or Nah? Follow Me Down the Rabbit Hole.”
The semi-satirical article is a critique of the ability to create a false narrative in the news. It builds from the recent reports that the Department of Health and Human Services lost nearly 1,500 migrant minors after they were placed with adult sponsors.
Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman, then criticized Ryan in a tweet by questioning whether it is “OK” for a journalist with a large platform “to retweet any headline you want, regardless of if it’s true?”
If you’re a journalist w many followers & a @CNNPolitics contributor…is it ok to retweet any headline you want, regardless of if it’s true? Remember: “The core purpose of a journalist is to research, document, write, & present the news in an honest, ethical, & unbiased way.” https://twitter.com/aprildryan/status/1000532093707964416 …
Ryan, the Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Network, responded by asking whether Grisham read the story and not just the headline. She also called out the Trump administration for trying to discredit the press.
“You and many in this admin work to discredit us in the press,” Ryan tweeted. “What happens when you all tweet crazy stories. Where is the accountability there?”
Really! Did you read the story? I guess not per usual. You and many in this admin work to discredit us in the press. What happens when you all tweet crazy stories. Where is the accountability there? https://twitter.com/stephgrisham45/status/1000544035071807489 …
And that is what I am talking about. Just reading headlines is not the story and you went after me for not knowing what the story was. Not cool! https://twitter.com/stephgrisham45/status/1000889520907276288 …
That fake news story from FOX and your not reading the story just a headline creates an atmosphere of hate against me that leads to ugliness. It has to stop! https://twitter.com/stephgrisham45/status/1000889520907276288 …
“That fake news story from FOX and your not reading the story just a headline creates an atmosphere of hate against me that leads to ugliness,” Ryan added, directing her tweet to Grisham. “It has to stop!”
BY LUIS SANCHEZ – 05/27/18
–This report was updated on May 28