When former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn expressed the view that that “Fox News is a wing of the Republican Party,” it was hardly revelatory to anyone who pays attention to the media. But it was nonetheless a courageous act in a political environment that is unaccustomed to such truth-telling.
Now the new White House Communications Director, Dan Pfeiffer, is officially taking the same position as his predecessor:
“I have the same view of Fox that Anita had, which is that Fox is not a traditional news organization. They have a point of view. That point of view pervades the entire network, both the opinion shows like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, but also through the newscasts during the day,”
“We don’t feel an obligation to treat them like we would treat a CNN or an ABC or an NBC or a traditional news organization. But there are times when we believe it would make sense to communicate with them and appear on the network.”
Not a traditional news organization? That’s a bit of an understatement. But it’s enough to properly categorize Fox as a partisan mouthpiece for the Tea Bagger Party. Pfeiffer correctly points out that Fox’s bias transcends what they call their opinion shows. It does indeed pervade the entire network. This view is confirmed by Fox’s response to Pfeiffer:
“Obviously new to his position, Dan seems to be intent upon repeating the mistakes of his predecessor… and we all remember how well that turned out.”
Yes, we do. Fox likes to believe that their ratings validate their position. But Dunn’s remarks were never intended to impact their ratings. No one expected her comments to cause Beck or O’Reilly viewers to pull the Fox needle out their arms. The purpose was to stop the rest of the media from regurgitating Fox falsehoods as if they were news. There was some success in that respect and it warrants the continuation of the policy from the White House. It’s good to see that, at least on this matter, they are holding firm.