Fox News has long touted the supposed firewall between its “hard news” reporting and its conservative opinions. But that line often becomes blurred, as is seemingly the case with White House correspondent Kevin Corke.
Although he’s in a position normally reserved for the most fair-minded reporters, and on-air he presents himself as such, Corke’s personal Twitter feed has often read like an outpost of retweets and supportive commentary for alt-right users and conspiracy-theorist zealots. At one point, he uncritically promoted a gossip-rag claim that Hillary Clinton had bisexual trysts.
On Monday, the morning after Emmanuel Macron handily defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the French election, Corke quote-tweeted a video from notorious Alex Jones associate and conspiracy theorist InfoWars editor Paul Joseph Watson alleging voter fraud.
The unverified footage purported to show “duplicate Macron ballots being sent out with none for Marine Le Pen.”
Corke’s commentary: “whoa... but then again, I’m not surprised. Are you?”
As a White House reporter, you’d think Corke would know better than to skip right past the whole “trust but verify” step of the reporting process and give a tacit endorsement to the same conspiracy theorist whose greatest hits include “9/11, the London Tube bombing, and the Boston Marathon bombing were all inside jobs.”
But Corke is apparently no normal White House reporter at a national news network.
Upon being called out, Corke deleted that tweet. And dozens of other questionable ones. His choice of which ones to delete are telling.
Among his now-scrubbed items:
—On May 6, Corke affirmatively wrote “Indeed…” to a tweet from conservative actor and Twitter troll James Woods (who infamously gloated when one of his online foes died), saying: “How sad for #America that without alleged ‘hacking,’ we would never have known about #Clinton operatives & #DNC rigging her nomination.”
—On May 5, Corke quote-tweeted an article about Macron’s campaign being victim to a ”massive, coordinated hacking” before the election. “Yeah, uh huh... just in case you lose? #skeptical,” Corke snarked in response.
—On May 2, in response to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) calling upon President Trump to resign, Corke mockingly tweeted, “The new face of the Democratic party? #MaxineWaters #goodluckwiththat.”
—On April 19, Corke retweeted notorious alt-right ringleader Mike Cernovich excoriating The New York Times as “fake news” for a side-by-side image showing “lower turnout” among the New England Patriots for their White House visit in 2017 than in 2015. (Interestingly, however, Corke did not delete his retweeting of Cernovich from April 13, in which the troll wrote: “The narrative went from, ‘Trump was never wire tapped,’ to, ‘It was during incidental intelligence gathering.’”)
—On March 22, Corke retweeted Watson asking, following the London stabbing attack, “Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, a city attacked over 5 hours ago, has not appeared once on camera to reassure the public. Where is he?”
—On February 10, amid ethical concerns over top White House aide Kellyanne Conway hawking Ivanka Trump’s clothing items on national television, Corke tweeted this now-deleted non-sequitur: “People worked up by @KellyannePolls comments about @IvankaTrump looked the other way about @HillaryClinton ’s email server #justsayin.”
—Several days after President Trump’s inauguration, on January 23, Corke tweeted a flow chart asking, “Is Donald Trump Your President?” with all options for U.S. citizens leading to the answer “Yes, Donald Trump is your president.” Corke’s caption: “In case it wasn’t clear…”
—On January 17, Corke retweeted an InfoWars-branded image from Alex Jones’ official account showing a skeleton seated in a chair, with the caption: “STILL WAITING FOR EVERYONE TO MOVE TO CANADA.”
—On January 14, a week before inauguration, Corke tweeted an image of the U.S. electoral map showing vast swaths of red (for Trump) with smatterings of blue (for Clinton). “Just a little reminder,” he wrote, “this is the reality of the situation. Deal with it. Vote next time and or stop whining.”
Fox News did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Neither did Corke, who could not be reached because he blocked this writer on social media. “RTs and Likes mean nothing,” his Twitter bio declares, however.
And while Corke seemingly scoured his recent timeline to remove questionable content, he missed a handful of other times he’s uncritically retweeted the fringe musings of Jones, Cernovich, and Watson.
On April 10, Corke retweeted Cernovich posting photographs of walls allegedly protecting wealthy Mexican homes, with the caption, “Mexican elites have walls, but Americans can't.” In late 2015, Corke boosted at least two separate Alex Jones articles—one claiming the “PC crowd wants to ban ham sandwiches” (the “PC crowd,” in this case, was a British religious group) and the other claiming Sweden had “banned” the use of the word “immigrants” (they didn’t—it was a TV network’s guideline for employees).
Corke’s uncritical retweeting of fact-free, alt-right trolling seems to have frequently caused a problem with some of his followers. “Oy, reading is fundamental. I just told you that I stand by my tweets... From me. Tweets from me. My opinions... Clear now?” he tweeted at one user in November who perceived his feed to be too pro-Trump.
And in October 2016, Corke retweeted a proudly alt-right user promoting a National Enquirer story claiming “Hillary Fixer Breaks Ranks: I Arranged Sex Trysts For Her — With Men & WOMEN.” Corke included no commentary or explanation for his decision, as White House correspondent, to retweet a clearly salacious story boosted by a near-anonymous alt-right troll.
But when called out for so un-skeptically promoting such content, Corke replied to one irate user: “just making sure you know what's out there.”