FOX defenders hit back at White House
The Washington Post and several others have hackles raised in defense against recent White House slurs on FOX News Network.
According to The Nation magazine, the aide which slurred FOX was more or less engaging in "a radical departure" from the usual organized Democratic protocol.
After a White House aid slammed FOX news, the network is hitting back.
The White House is now fighting a three-front war: Iraq, Afghanistan and Fox News.
I found myself in the middle of that conflict on Sunday when my interview with Anita Dunn aired on CNN's "Reliable Sources." Within hours the thing went viral; stories and video of the White House communications director's remarks spread to the Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Media Bistro, Politico, Mediaite, Hot Air and many other sites.
I had thought Dunn might try to smooth things over with the country's highest-rated cable news network, as guests often do in front of a television camera, but instead she was determined to ratchet things up: "The reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party. . . . Take their talking points and put them on the air. Take their opposition research and put them on the air, and that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is."
I don't think she was freelancing; there are meetings in every White House about what message to put out on the Sunday shows.
Dunn acknowledged that the president had intentionally stiffed Fox for this reason when he did that Sunday morning blitz a few weeks back, but added: "Obviously he'll go on Fox because he engages with ideological opponents. . . . When he goes on Fox, he understands that he is not going on -- it really is not a news network at this point. He's going to debate the opposition."
Leaving aside the distinction between Fox reporters and the likes of O'Reilly, Hannity and Beck--Dunn admitted that Major Garrett is a fair journalist--does this sort of frontal attack make political sense? Could Obama score points with part of Fox's audience by engaging, as he did by going on the "Factor" during the campaign? Or does the cable channel provide a useful foil for a Democratic administration?
Plus, if you look at MSNBC's lineup after 6 p.m., Fox isn't the only network that goes heavy on the opinionated hosts.
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