Fox News anchor Bret Baier appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Thursday night to discuss the state of the news media and his recent decision to stand in support of CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins. Collins was recently barred from covering an event in the Rose Garden.
Kimmel and his audience appreciated Baier's defense of the CNN reporter, applauding his remarks. He went into more detail about being compelled to support Collins and her freedom of the press.
"It was a no brainer," he told Kimmel. "You know, I’m on the news side of the house and you have to stand for access. This is a credentialed person. You know I wrote a book about Reagan. Sam Donaldson was yelling questions they didn’t like in the Reagan White House either, but he was never denied access. And to Fox News’ credit, they stood up right away. I mean it was instantaneous. We put up the chain, it happened, and then I got it on the show with the approval of Fox management. So Jay Wallace put out a statement, our president and it was a no brainer."
Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts has also spoken out in defense of his fellow reporters who have been on the receiving end of President Trump's ire. Last month, Trump refused to take a question from Jim Acosta because he wasn't from a "real network." He also called NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker dishonest. Roberts said these charges were "unfair."
Welker, he said, “is honest as the day is long."
As for CNN, “there are some fine journalists who work there and risk their lives to report on stories around the world" and "to issue a blanket condemnation of the network as ‘fake news’ is also unfair.”
Kimmel noted Thursday that some Fox News hours are more opinionated than others, to which Baier challenged the host to “watch my show three times, send me an email, and let me know if we’re being fair.”
The two fathers also shared a moment of recognition about having to cope with their sons' heart conditions.
Kimmel: "It’s great to have you here, and I want to thank you because after my son’s heart surgery, when the Fox News community was attacking me, you sent me a very nice email. I know your son had a heart surgery as well. How is your son doing?"
Baier: "He’s doing great. Well first of all, I wanted to reach out because I’m a father who went through the same thing. And I sat in those hospital rooms listening to beeps and I wanted to reach out to you and say there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Our son Paul went through three open heart surgeries, nine angioplasties. He’s doing awesome. And I know Billy’s going to do the same."