President Trump tweets about Kevin Vesey's confrontation with protesters, says 'FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL'

The president's response comes after News 12's Kevin Vesey went to a ‘reopening’ rally and was met with insults and vitriol.

News 12 Staff

May 15, 2020, 3:54 PM

Updated 1,527 days ago

Share:

UPDATE - MAY 15, 9:47 P.M.: President Trump has tweeted about the confrontation between News 12 reporter Kevin Vesey and a group of angry protesters, echoing chants by those at the rally by saying, "FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL."
Original story below.
News 12 reporter Kevin Vesey went to a ‘reopening’ rally Thursday afternoon to tell the story of protesters who want Gov. Cuomo to lift COVID-related restrictions on Long Island.
What he got was confrontation and vitriol.
While filming a Facebook live segment, protesters hurled insults at News 12 and the media. They also tried to ignore social distancing guidelines by moving closer than 6 feet, forcing Vesey to continually back up to maintain a safe distance.
The response highlights a stark, and often partisan, fracture between those who want to take a measured approach to the reopening and those who think the restrictions have gone on long enough. 
Kevin’s coverage of the scene was picked up by several media outlets as journalists encounter increased hostilities across the country.
Rolling stone highlighted the incident in a piece, saying, “The protesters were there to send a message about their displeasure with the safety policies put into place by the state due to the coronavirus. But if they truly want their reopen message to be heard, you’d think some media coverage would be welcome.”
VIDEO: Kevin Vesey breaks down his encounter with the protesters
The Washington Post also featured the incident in a larger piece about the increasingly heated anti-lockdown protests across the country, saying “At another Thursday protest in Commack, N.Y., Long Island protesters waved Trump 2020 banners and one held a sign that read, “Hang Fauci. Hang Gates. Open all our states.”
The New York Times also weighed in, tweeting about Vesey's experience in relation to a piece about the politicization of items surrounding the virus.
CNN’s Brian Stelter also talked about the confrontation in his blog, saying "This crowd didn't reflect all Trump supporters, nor did it reflect all Long Islanders. But these behaviors toward the news media... the intolerance... the indecency... have all been modeled by President Trump for several years. No one should be surprised to see it infect local communities. But everyone should be disturbed by it. Constructive critiques make journalism better, but destructive attacks make society worse."
At the end of the day, Vesey’s piece on the protesters and their story made air. When it was finished, he tweeted, “I'll probably never forget what happened today. I was insulted. I was berated. I was practically chased by people who refused to wear masks in the middle of a pandemic. All the while, I was there to tell THEIR story.”
He also thanked everyone for their support.
 
 


More from News 12
1:59
Flight disruptions persist at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport due to global technology outage

Flight disruptions persist at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport due to global technology outage

2:35
Clouds and sun for Sunday in New Jersey

Clouds and sun for Sunday in New Jersey

1:49
Toms River firefighters headed to national competition

Toms River firefighters headed to national competition

0:17
Police: Man fatally shot inside car in Clifton

Police: Man fatally shot inside car in Clifton

0:29
Fire leaves several residents in Lakewood displaced

Fire leaves several residents in Lakewood displaced

0:26
Police: Egg Harbor Township man accused of fatally striking bicyclist while driving drunk

Police: Egg Harbor Township man accused of fatally striking bicyclist while driving drunk

1:41
 Officials: COVID-19 has hit high levels in several states, including Connecticut

Officials: COVID-19 has hit high levels in several states, including Connecticut

1:41
 Officials: COVID-19 has hit high levels in several states, including Connecticut

Officials: COVID-19 has hit high levels in several states, including Connecticut

0:27
Prosecutor: Jackson Township man accused of fatally stabbing roommate

Prosecutor: Jackson Township man accused of fatally stabbing roommate

1:27
Prosecutor: Infant girl dies after being left inside parked car in East Hanover

Prosecutor: Infant girl dies after being left inside parked car in East Hanover

0:23
CDC: NJ resident dies from listeria food poisoning linked to deli meat

CDC: NJ resident dies from listeria food poisoning linked to deli meat

2:25
A massive tech outage is causing worldwide disruptions. Here's what we know

A massive tech outage is causing worldwide disruptions. Here's what we know

NJ Transit to resume regular weekend schedule following disruptions due to extreme heat

NJ Transit to resume regular weekend schedule following disruptions due to extreme heat

2:01
Doctors urge parents to get their children in for doctor visit ahead of new school year

Doctors urge parents to get their children in for doctor visit ahead of new school year

0:48
Jersey Proud: Stockton students spend summer measuring New Jersey shoreline

Jersey Proud: Stockton students spend summer measuring New Jersey shoreline

0:53
Beachwood West Beach closed for rest of summer due to high bacteria levels

Beachwood West Beach closed for rest of summer due to high bacteria levels

2:02
What happens if Biden drops out of the race? Here are some scenarios

What happens if Biden drops out of the race? Here are some scenarios

0:26
Costco sells ‘emergency food supply’ bucket with a 25-year shelf life

Costco sells ‘emergency food supply’ bucket with a 25-year shelf life

5:00
Tech expert weighs in on Microsoft outage impacts across the globe

Tech expert weighs in on Microsoft outage impacts across the globe

0:31
Man dies after he rescues two young boys who were struggling to stay afloat in New Jersey river

Man dies after he rescues two young boys who were struggling to stay afloat in New Jersey river