Activist chef José Andrés proved how easily an anti-Trump claim can get magnified in the fact-free environment of fake news and misleading social media posts.
Andrés, a staunch advocate for Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief efforts, falsely speculated on Twitter Saturday night that he was denied entry to Washington D.C.’s prestigious Cafe Milano because First Daughter Ivanka Trump didn’t want him to join the elite crowd gathered inside for the 105th Alfalfa Club dinner’s exclusive after party.
Andrés has been an outspoken critic of President Trump - they were once involved in a legal dispute – but the chef “briefly chatted” with Ivanka at the event before the party, according to the Washington Post. Andrés was not on the list of invited guests, but assumed he had the clout to enter Cafe Milano regardless. He was wrong and took to Twitter once denied entry, blaming Ivanka while calling out Cafe Milano owner Franco Nuschese and tagging the Washington Post.
“Thank you @CafeMilanoDC Franco Nuschese!” Andrés wrote. “I was a guest of the #alfalfaclubdinner2018 ‘everyone’ welcome to the after party, but I’m the only individual not allow in? Is because @IvankaTrump told you so? You should be ashamed of yourself Franco.@washingtonpost”
The tweet was retweeted over 12,000 times and liked by over 28,000 users. Many people responded by mocking the First Daughter and suggesting that Café Milano should be boycotted.
Andrés’ assumption resulted in a variety of headlines that depicted Ivanka as an insensitive monster, such as “Puerto Rico hero allegedly banned from party at Ivanka Trump’s behest” and “Outspoken pro-immigrant chef asks if Ivanka Trump got him banned from party.”
“That’s hardly surprising, as Donald Trump’s response to the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico continues to be nothing but a rolling disaster,” liberal commentator Tommy Christopher wrote. “If Ivanka truly had Andres kicked out of the party despite his heroic efforts to help the Puerto Rican people, it would further prove that she is right at home in her father’s administration.”
Anti-Trump CNN star Anthony Bourdain took the unconfirmed theory as gospel, calling Andrés being denied entry “loathsome” and a “grotesque betrayal of a true patriot and hero."
It turns out that Andrés’ rejection was not ordered by Ivanka, who even reached out to the chef to explain that she had nothing to do with the situation. Nuschese also reached out and apologized, calling the situation a “misunderstanding.”
Andrés had his itty bitty ego hurt by being excluded from and an after party. So he threw a tantrum and media treated it like it's legitimate news.”
Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor said mainstream media is “hysterical” but “not in a funny way” and pointed to the chef’s initial reaction as an example.
“They are running around like Chicken Little screaming, ‘The sky is falling.’ Except the only thing that is falling is their believability,” Gainor told Fox News. “This story is a mix of media and typical D.C. ego. Andrés had his itty bitty ego hurt by being excluded from an after party. So he threw a tantrum and media treated it like it's legitimate news.”
Meanwhile, Andrés took to Twitter again to thank the First Daughter and Café Milano’s owner for contacting him, but the chef was still harping on the situation Monday morning despite already admitting it wasn’t Ivanka's fault.
“Someone with connections to [Ivanka Trump] made the call to not let me in,” he tweeted. “Could be she didn’t know, but it did happen… and this is not the Washington we know.”
Andrés missed out on a lavish party and the mainstream media turned it into a news-making scandal as if it actually impacted the American people. It turns out that any Trump critic with a verified Twitter account can manufacture a story to make the administration look corrupt, immoral or simply rude to fit an anti-Trump agenda.
“Sadly, I now assume all such stories are bogus until I am proven wrong,” Gainor said.