White House: Fox News Is A Wing Of The Republican Party

Perhaps I should just forward this to the Department of Redundancy Department. White House communications director, Anita Dunn, appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz and made some rather obvious, though too often unsaid, remarks about Fox News’ role as a right-wing megaphone.

It is about time that the administration articulate what anyone paying attention already knows. The highlight of Dunn’s comments is simple and straight forward:

“The reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party. And it is not ideological… what I think is fair to say about Fox, and the way we view it, is that it is more of a wing of the Republican Party.”

These remarks were in response to an inquiry by Kurtz about previous comments by Dunn that Fox was “masquerading” as news. Kurtz went further to inquire as to whether Obama would appear on Fox again. Unfortunately, she said that he would. That, of course, would be a mistake for all the reasons she just articulated. Fox News is not a news network, and they no more deserve Obama’s presence than does the National Enquirer. Why would they agree to appear on a network that masquerades as news?

In response to Dunn’s comments, Michael Clemente, Senior Vice President of News for FOX News, said:

“An increasing number of viewers are relying on FOX News for both news and opinion. And the average news consumer can certainly distinguish between the A section of the newspaper and the editorial page, which is what our programming represents.”

The problem with that statement is that Fox’s news is as much opinion as their opinion is. Even their top “news” people, like Bill Sammon, Major Garrett, Neil Cavuto, Carl Cameron, etc., are steeped in personal biases to which ethical journalists would never sink. Another problem with Clemente’s statement is that it contradicts Bill Shine, senior VP for programming, who admitted that Fox News is the “voice of opposition.”

Glenn Beck was moved to spend the first 20 minutes of his program on this matter, and another six minutes later in the show. That’s half of his airtime, during which he characterized Dunn’s appraisal as an assault on free speech. Never mind the fact that Obama, and any public figure, has the right to book their own appearances. That does not in any way impose on the free speech rights of Fox News. They can, and do, continue to spew their partisan views. More evidence of this is that Bill O’Reilly also spent about nearly half of his show grumbling about Dunn’s remarks. Beck and O’Reilly are just whining about being left out, the same way Chris Wallace did when he called the Democrats a bunch of “crybabies.”

At one point, Beck makes the ludicrous claim that it is Fox News who is “standing up for the republic and the Constitution.” He later complains that he was corrected by Dunn on a misstatement he made about Major Garret not being called on in news conferences. It was, of course, true that Beck made that statement and that it was false, but he just laughs it off. Then he goes on to make some more mistakes (otherwise known as lies).

Most notable was his mention of Nixon’s enemies list, about which he said, “That whole thing. That was just about who’s not coming to state dinners.” However, Nixon aide John Dean stated the true purpose for the list as “how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.” This meant tax audits, grant availability, federal contracts, litigation, and prosecution. For Beck to so cavalierly lie about what was one the most despicable actions by a leader in our nation’s history says so much about Beck. He probably thinks that the Final Solution was a dish washing detergent.

In the end, Fox’s defense is the best evidence that Dunn’s remarks are are all too true.


13 thoughts on “White House: Fox News Is A Wing Of The Republican Party

  1. How would a campaign to persuade Obama never to appear on FOX proceed? A Dear Mr. President, “We urge you not to for the following reasons” statement sponsored by numerous blogs and other organizations headed by you – the original proponent of that policy as you documented some time back? Ad hoc, extended to readers for maximum signatures? OR, is it equally likely Ms. Dunn offered that reassuring vagueness as a sort of “Let’s do lunch” from which it may do assumed you’re merely blowing off the other party? In that case, such an effort would reassure, support and confirm Obama’s position on the futility of making nice with the enemy.

    • duh, “may BE assumed.” To think I actually reread before sending – too quickly, I guess.

    • It appears that the best way to persuade Obama to stay off of Fox is to let Fox keep doing what they’re doing. The more Fox acts like an illegitimate network, the more likely Obama and others will steer clear.

      But we need to keep the heat on as well. Obama has a tendency to cave. I still can’t believe he went on the Factor.

      • Obama cave in? No way! He just throws em’ under the bus. Grandma, Rev. Wright and Van Jones are just a couple examples.

  2. Murdoch responds to only one thing, $$$$$$$$$

    • Actually, I don’t believe that.

      Sure, Murdoch loves his money, but that isn’t all he loves. He is a committed rightist ideologue and he is willing to lose money on projects that advance his agenda. He deficit financed Fox News for five years. He is losing a $50 million a year on the New York Post. He’s losing a bundle on Fox Business.

      Beck’s revenue has decline half a million a week since the ad boycott began. Murdoch obviously doesn’t care that much about the money.

      • Actually you are wrong on this one. Murdoch is NOT a rightwing ideologue as you state. He is more to the center than most people think. The United States is now going back to the right as we speak and the coming elections in New Jersey will prove it.

  3. you have been calling this for a long time, mark. every time i think about obama going on fox news, i always think of “starve the beast”… that is exactly what obama is doing, and look at how fox news is reacting. they squirm and go crazy and attack him more.

    i think they expected the obama WH to just sit there taking all these gut punches, and they were very surprised to see him fight back. and when he does, they cry uncle and have to defend themselves. that is exactly what we need fox news on… the defensive, for a change.

    • The volume of their whining is proof that they are being hurt when the President and others stay away.

      It’s just funny to hear them say that the President is hurt by avoiding Fox. If they really believed that they would keep their mouths shut and let the President be hurt. Clearly it is they who are hurting and so they escalate their bitching.

    • I haven’t heard the red phone on the stage of Glenn Beck ring yet. The WH must be “satisfied” of the “proper” coverage they are getting.

      • Good point. And I haven’t heard Beck deny that he raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. Therefore it must be true.

  4. To the Democrats in Congress who don’t quite get it: I want to offer a personal pledge. I and a lot of other people have every intention of removing you from Congress in the next election if you stand in the way of health care legislation that the majority of the American people want. That is not a hollow or idle threat. We will come to your district and we will work against you, first in the primary and, if we have to, in the general election. We do not want the “Public Option(single payer)”…..period! Rest assured, we are all watching how you vote now and in the future.

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