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 1,530 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
1:50
Riverhead BOE approves plan to bring resource officers to schools

Riverhead BOE approves plan to bring resource officers to schools

2:02
Cloudy skies, muggy conditions and rain showers on Long Island

Cloudy skies, muggy conditions and rain showers on Long Island

0:27
Farmingdale parent files lawsuit in connection to deadly bus crash

Farmingdale parent files lawsuit in connection to deadly bus crash

0:26
Police: Suspect wanted for robbing Stop & Shop in East Meadow

Police: Suspect wanted for robbing Stop & Shop in East Meadow

0:18
Volunteers plant trees at Oakdale facility for people with developmental disabilities

Volunteers plant trees at Oakdale facility for people with developmental disabilities

0:28
Police: Suspect arrested for burglarizing Macy’s at Green Acres Mall multiple times

Police: Suspect arrested for burglarizing Macy’s at Green Acres Mall multiple times

1:45
Long Beach School Board renews talks to close elementary school following survey results

Long Beach School Board renews talks to close elementary school following survey results

0:23
Police: Third teen arrested for causing $600K in damage to Shelter Island home

Police: Third teen arrested for causing $600K in damage to Shelter Island home

2:01
Pilot, passenger from Virginia identified as victims in MacArthur Airport crash

Pilot, passenger from Virginia identified as victims in MacArthur Airport crash

1:04
Smithtown boy returns home from South Carolina after being stranded from global tech outage

Smithtown boy returns home from South Carolina after being stranded from global tech outage

1:59
Police: 2 men arrested for running construction scam targeting older adults in Floral Park

Police: 2 men arrested for running construction scam targeting older adults in Floral Park

1:38
Optimum donates $2,500 to Henry Viscardi School following wheelchair basketball game

Optimum donates $2,500 to Henry Viscardi School following wheelchair basketball game

1:43
Roosevelt man accused of series of crimes that resulted in injuries to 2 Nassau County officers

Roosevelt man accused of series of crimes that resulted in injuries to 2 Nassau County officers

1:50
New mental health clinic opens at NUMC

New mental health clinic opens at NUMC

0:18
Police: 3 men wanted for stealing $6,000 worth of sunglasses in Lake Grove

Police: 3 men wanted for stealing $6,000 worth of sunglasses in Lake Grove

0:20
Big Lots to close stores nationwide, including 2 locations on Long Island

Big Lots to close stores nationwide, including 2 locations on Long Island

0:16
Riverhead police chief announces departure from department

Riverhead police chief announces departure from department

1:48
Made on Long Island: Long Island Meal Prep in West Hempstead

Made on Long Island: Long Island Meal Prep in West Hempstead

0:43
Toys for Tots Foundation helps campers celebrate Christmas in July

Toys for Tots Foundation helps campers celebrate Christmas in July

AP survey: Harris has enough delegate support to become the Democratic Party nominee

AP survey: Harris has enough delegate support to become the Democratic Party nominee