Gateway Pundit-Fox News kerfuffle has websites buzzing

Alleged assault on Gateway Pundit reporter recently given White House press credentials raises larger issues of MSM credibility, partisanship and credentialism.

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Fox Radio News reporter Jon Decker apparently glares at "Gateway Pundit." Photos via tweets by Lucian Wintrich)

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2017 – The Washington Times among others is reporting on the nasty March 10 kerfuffle involving a Fox News radio reporter and a newly-credentialed reporter who represents longtime online news and opinion site Gateway Pundit.

The WashTimes report by Douglas Ernst is pretty straightforward, though the verbiage slants things just a bit against the alleged victim of this close reportorial encounter:

“Things got heated in the White House briefing room between Fox News Radio correspondent Jon Decker and Gateway Pundit’s Lucian Wintrich.

“The decision to grant the website Gateway Pundit White House press credentials seemingly rubbed Mr. Decker and his peers the wrong way on Friday. Reporters on hand witnessed allegations of bigotry, an assault claim, and professional insults before heading home for the weekend.


“‘Fox News Radio John Decker just loudly told everyone in briefing room that Gateway Pundit is here “They hate blacks, Jews, Hispanics.” Wild,’ tweeted BuzzFeed White House correspondent Adrian Carrasquillo.

“Mr. Carrasquillo’s claim was echoed by Mr. Wintrich, who in a string of tweets said, ‘Jon Decker asulted [sic] me at today’s briefing. @FoxNews — is this behavior something you tolerate over there? He’s sick . … John Decker also asulted [sic] me, pushing me in the break room & then grabbing my arm in the briefing room while shouting that I’m a Nazi. … After this briefing, I am going to be filing assult [sic] and harassment charges against Jon Decker.’

“The tweets included images that showed Mr. Decker glaring in the Gateway Pundit’s direction.”*

If literally true, Wintrich’s own Gateway Pundit side of the story, which details his altercation with Decker, would make for a great TV episode in some lurid, Washington-based drama:

“I arrived at the White House Press Briefing Room on Friday and was simply standing in line for the bathroom. I was accosted by Fox’s Jon Decker, who loudly informed the entire room that I hate blacks, women, Hispanics, Jews, and other minorities. I was astounded.

“Decker then blocked me from entering the rest room. He physically cornered me.

“I took a few steps back, at which point he began asking, ‘Who is Pepe?’ I told him that it was simply an internet meme, but that I really needed to use the restroom. When I attempted to inch past him, he physically shoved me. When I exited the men’s room, he was waiting outside and stalked me into the briefing room.

“At this point, things turned ugly. Mr. Decker grabbed my arm in a very aggressive manor and loudly informed the roomful of MSM journalists that I was “anti-black, anti-Jew, anti-woman” and writing for a Nazi publication….

“I am the grandson of Holocaust survivors who fought in the Polish Resistance against the Third Reich.

“I find the accusation that I am — in any fashion — affiliated with Nazis, neo-Nazis or anti-Semites to be beyond absurd – and, frankly extremely offensive.

“Decker called me anti-Hispanic. My boyfriend is Hispanic, although I shouldn’t need to discuss my relationships with minorities to defend myself from baseless accusations of bigotry.”

Read the rest of Wintrich’s version which is suitably lurid.

Meanwhile, writing for the notoriously Alt-left Politico, Hadas Gold heartily endorsed Jon Decker’s real or alleged attack on Wintrich.

“Fox News confirmed Decker was reacting to previous tweets Wintrich had posted. According to a White House Correspondent in the room, several reporters shook Decker’s hands as he walked back to the Fox News radio booth.

“‘Props to Jon Decker for speaking up in the press room. It would be much harder for a minority reporter to speak up like he did,’ the correspondent said. “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.”

No ID for that “White House Correspondent,” BTW. There never is. It’s funny how many MSM sources are anonymous. If so, what are the alleged sources hiding from? Worse: Do they exist? Or do reporters just make them up because they’re on deadline?

Hadas wraps up his version of the story like this:

“Gateway Pundit, a pro-Donald Trump conservative blog known for at times posting false rumors, gained notice earlier this year when they announced they would be appointing a White House correspondent with official White House press credentials. While there are several interesting characters and self-described reporters who appear daily in the briefing room, the Gateway Pundit’s inclusion has rankled some White House reporters who see them as an inappropriate addition to the briefing room.”

In all candor, I’ve had Gateway Pundit in my bookmarks menu for years. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, not Washington D.C., Jim Hoft and his cohorts provide an often breathless but spot-on antidote to the hyper-partisan, pro-Democrat pap that the MSM spews daily to delude the deplorable masses.

Most notably, Hoft’s site proved to be particularly informative and insightful in its reporting of the tragic, anti-cop violence that effectively destroyed all comity—and a good deal of commercial property—in the nearby St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

Like nearly all sites, ranging from MSM to pro-Trump to alt-whatever, Hoft’s site gets facts wrong on occasion, but always issues correctives. That’s something that allegedly more professional rags like The Washington Post and the New York Times either never do or do with great stealth.

Outlets that regularly denigrate longtime sites like Gateway Pundit are lazy, generally, operate on hearsay, and rarely if ever read the sites they hate because… well, because they’re not “legitimate” as defined by the self-serving MSM.

Given its unchallenged dominance over news reporting and opinion-making for at least the past 50 years, the MSM seethes with a fierce hatred of such relatively recent media gate- crashers and continually attempts to hold onto its once-exclusive turf by smearing and slandering internet-based political news sites. That’s particularly true if such sites dare to challenge the left-wing orthodoxy the MSM has traditionally supported.

Wintrich, to me, is still an unknown quantity. However, if he wants to be a serious newsman by any objective standards, he needs to do less sensationalistic tweeting and more hard reporting. (So do the lazy, smart-ass MSM blow-dries for that matter.) And some friendly advice, Lucian: You’re no Milo Yiannopoulos. So quit trying so hard.

Wintrich should also learn how to spell American English, or at least use a spellchecker before hitting the internet airwaves. When you misspell words in your tweets, which are essentially headlines, you immediately permit your opponents to ignore your message and instead go after your real or alleged illiteracy. It’s stupid to give your opponents that kind of opportunity. Why give them an easy layup?

Reporters and network news chiefs alike also have a serious choice to make: Either get back to reporting the actual news and keeping your opinions limited to the editorial and op-ed pages or admit you’re part of the reflexively left-wing entertainment media/Hollywood axis. You can no longer have things both ways. Americans are on to your game, and it doesn’t work anymore.

*Notes: The actual “Gateway Pundit” is the site’s founder, Jim Hoft. Despite the Washington Times’ [sics], BTW, note the writer’s own error in his initial sentence–“Fox News Radio John Decker.” There’s a missing descriptor between “Radio” and “John.” Additionally, “Mr. Decker” was apparently glaring at Wintrich, not “in the Gateway Pundit’s direction.” That’s because the Gateway Pundit is the site’s founder and chief blogger/reporter, Jim Hoft, who, until recently, had been posting solo for years.

In general, it’s clear that internet writers, including this one, no longer have the benefit of real live copy editors. That’s actually quite a shame and a clear indication of how low the QC in the writerly profession has sunk.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17