October 18th, 2009
03:07 PM ET
5 years ago

Emanuel explains White House's view of Fox News


WASHINGTON (CNN) – A week after White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said Fox News operates like a wing of the Republican Party, President Obama’s Chief of Staff provided another window into the administration’s thinking on the cable news outlet.

“It’s not so much a conflict with Fox News,“ Emanuel said Sunday during CNN’s State of the Union, “I suppose the way to look at it and the way the president looks at it and we look at is: it’s not a news organization so much as it has a perspective. And that’s a different take.”

Emanuel also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that it was important to the White House that other media outlets not take their cues from Fox.

That said, Emanuel said the White House wasn’t preoccupied with its ongoing differences with Fox News Channel. Instead, the administration is focused on reviving the economy and determining the right course of action in Afghanistan, Emanuel said Sunday.

In a statement e-mailed to CNN after Emanuel's interview on State of the Union, Fox News said it was open to having a discussion.

"Surprisingly, the White House continues to declare war on a news organization," Fox News Michael Clemente said in the statement, "instead of focusing on the critical issues that Americans are concerned about like jobs, health care and two wars. The door remains open and we welcome a discussion about the facts behind the issues."

In an interviewed that aired last Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” White House Communications Director Anita Dunn slammed the cable news outlet. “The reality of it is that Fox often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party,” Dunn told CNN’s Howard Kurtz.

“They’re widely viewed as a part of the Republican Party – take [the GOP’s] talking points, put ’em on the air, take [the GOP’s] opposition research, put ’em on the air,” Dunn also said.

And Dunn also shed some light on the president’s decision to forego recent opportunities to be interviewed by Fox News and instead sit for interviews with a number of the cable outlet’s competitors including CNN.

“When he goes on Fox, he understands that he’s not really going on it as a news network, at this point. He’s going to debate the opposition. And that’s fine. He never minds doing that,” Dunn said.

Dunn’s remarks last Sunday only provided more fuel for the already tense relationship between the White House and Fox News. Late last week Dunn traded barbs with Fox News anchor Glenn Beck, who moved to that network last year after a stint with CNN sister network Headline News.

Updated: 1:58 p.m. with Fox News statement

soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. TangledThorns

    The WH is a bunch of cowards as FOX News is calling out on the leftist radicals that Obama surrounds himself with.

    October 18, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. meme

    And CNN doesn't have a perspective? Hmmm.......

    October 18, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. chris

    “I suppose the way to look at it and the way the president looks at it and we look at is: it’s not a news organization so much as it has a perspective. And that’s a different take.”
    ------------------------------

    Hmmm. so the president, i would assume, won't be going on MSNBC anytime soon.

    the fact is WE NEED FOX News! if it wasn't there, you would NEVER hear the other side of sick, corrupt, LYING, democratic policies as they currently stand. dunn, emanuel...keep shoveling your hypocritcial b.s. to the liberals. they're the only ones buying it at this point.

    October 18, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. Rick

    Sounds like he just put out the memo to the other news organizations. DONT ASK QUESTIONS or you will be shunned like Fox. Thats not what you would expect out of the most transparent administration in history.

    October 18, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. -

    Different opinions and asking questions is good. But when an organization puts out misinformation and repeats these lies day after day until people believe it, that organization, whether on the left or right, should be called out! Fox news lies constantly and each of their lies should be called out and they should be held accountable!

    October 18, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    FAUX is an opinion/entertainment show, just like Limbaugh. I don't know why anyone wants to have that propaganda shoved down their throats, but I guess it takes all kinds to make the world go around.

    The hate and fear is just sickening to me and others in my community. We don't like it.

    October 18, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. brahar

    Re CNN cue from Fox,- And where did CNN get it,s clue?

    October 18, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. the southern progressive

    instead of "fox news" is should be called "fox opinion" .. it is obvious they do not care about half of the country, and therefore are not interesting in giving all of america the news.. just the half they can control with fear and propaganda, and thus propaganda is not news just a biased interpretation to spread dis-informantion.

    October 18, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. vic nashville , Tn

    Obama must appear in FOX ASAP There is no Fun in FOX now

    One idiot talking to himself is fun ( weekdays at 5 E.t in FOX)

    Group of idiots attacking smart person (Obama) is fun ( 24 x 7 in FOX)

    Now they are wining and crying why president Obama doesn’t like us

    This question from fox
    Why Michel Vic is in but Rush Limbaugh is out from NFL ?

    Michel Vic is nuisance to dogs but Rush Limbaugh is nuisance to humans

    October 18, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Teresa Cleghorn

    So, the White House doesn't even want to talk to or work with an entity or people who don't agree withits agenda? Sounds like a slap in the face to every "news" organization it does talk to. Ought to have you, CNN, questioning your relationship with the administration.

    October 18, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. Chris

    how is this not the same as Obama telling republicans they shouldn't listen to Rush? Why are the leaders of our country so afraid?

    October 18, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. chubby

    What a load of bunk. nobama would be better served to fire emanuel and the other tax cheats then get someone he will listed to about how to fix the economy. Any idiot could do a better job on the economy than what is happening unless it is nobama's way to destroying this country. If that is the case he is doing a fine job. I hope we can hold on until the two governor elections this year so the demorats can see what is going to happen to them in 2010 and 2012 if they pass this so called health reform plan.

    October 18, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. Katie

    It's true Fox News has a perspective, and that their news is slanted toward that perspective. It's also true that most news media have their own biases – some, like Fox, much more obvious than others. The only way these days to get a balanced coverage of the news is to slog through all the perspectives... a daunting task indeed, since many of the media will only cover the more sensational aspects of anything going on. You have to delete the adjectives to get the facts and then you have to be willing to check the facts presented to see if they're true or false, or more often, complete. It's a sad commentary on today's journalism.

    October 18, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. annie s

    Dunn was spot-on. No need to try to whitewash her statement.

    October 18, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Stan James

    Fox news doesn't realize or doesn't care that they are contributing to the public's loss of confidence in the truth of what they see on news television. Fox news is in it for the money, like all the other news networks and they have found an exploitable niche market of disaffected minded viewers.

    October 18, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. John,Black Hills/SD

    Fox is a right wing almost news network. How can we take Fox news seriously when they have Beck, Hannity, and O'Reily, they're the cartoon news network.

    October 18, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Mickey, NY

    FauxNews: Joseph Goebbels would be proud.

    October 18, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. mark

    Finally the Democratic party is waking up. It only took 8 years of slanted, negative coverage pushing Bush's meandering agenda. Screw Fix Noise – they are getting what they deserved. "Fair and balanced", yeah, right! F 'em.

    October 18, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. whatajoke

    Emanuel also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that it was important to the White House that other media outlets not take their cues from Fox.

    Don't worry Rahm CNN is in full lock and step right along side you but I guess a occasional reminder of there real job (keeping the thruth from America and protecting the Administration) is a safe call.
    Rahm has spoken CNN take your cues from NO ONE BUT THEM.

    October 18, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Todd

    Glad to hear them not cave into fox's shenanigans. I can hardly believe they can use the name 'news'. Many of their viewers are as ill-tempered as their hosts. I guess they are sour loser and/or confused and bitter and lash out at 'change'. If we did not elect Obama, we would have ben in the 2nd great depression by now.

    Seems like the rabid right doesn't like be told what to do, but they sure like being told what to think!

    October 18, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Rich

    And CNN doesn't have a "perspective?! What a joke of a statement by Emanuel.

    October 18, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Dave

    What a bunch of cry babies! Sorry Obama, not every media outlet is kissing your butt. Thank God we have a news channel that is willing to expose this admistrations socialist agenda. By the way Mr. Emanuel, Fox News has the highest ratings and by picking a fight with Fox News will only continue to lower the president's approval rating. You might want to tell Mr. Chavez, oops, I mean Mr. Obama to get back to work and to stop being so petty.

    October 18, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Dave

    They sure act tough with our own people in America, but what about having no guts in dealing with Iran, Russia, Korea, Afganastan, and apologizing to everybody else in Europe.

    October 18, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Nancy

    Several years back, when I first started watching cable news shows for political reasons, I enjoyed watching Brit Humme(sp?) on Fox. A friend commented that Fox was so one-sided. I started comparing the coverage of different channels and proved to myself that Fox definitely was biased against anything Democratic. It's hard to believe these days that someone might not know Fox's take on things is all positive for Republicans and negative for others, but I'm sure there are those that will appreciate the chance to look at it in a different light. And the White House is right to call people's attention to the very unfair and unbalanced gibberish put out by Fox.

    October 18, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. mike

    If you disagree with this administration, you have no credibility or you are a racist.

    October 18, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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