October 8th, 2009
03:54 PM ET
12 years ago

White House: Fox is 'opinion journalism masquerading as news'

(CNN) - The Obama White House is ramping up its offensive against Fox News.

This summer, President Obama signaled his unhappiness with the network. "We've got one television station entirely devoted to attacking my administration."

Over the past month, that discontent has translated into an all-out war against Fox. Last month, Obama notably skipped a sitdown with Fox as he plugged his health care bill in one-on-one interviews on every other major news network. Earlier this month, the White House published a rare blog post directly attacking a news organization, slamming Fox for its "disregard for the facts" and pointing readers to an independent fact-checking organization that had debunked "more Fox lies."

Now, White House Communications Director Anita Dunn is questioning whether Fox is in the news business at all. "It's opinion journalism masquerading as news," she told Time of the news network, in an interview released Thursday. Dunn also made it clear this won't be the last White House blast aimed at the network: "They are boosting their audience. But that doesn't mean we are going to sit back."

Filed under: Fox News • Obama administration • President Obama
soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. Former Republican

    This would be funny if it weren't completely true.

    October 8, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Michelle

    I think the more they complain, the more people tune in to see what the uproar is about. (Then, hopefully, they tune right back out!) Fox gets more viewers BECAUSE they are not legitimate news...they are entertainers, and continually stretch the truth based on what they think will sell that day. At least when Keith and Rachel offer an opinion, they actually back it up with facts. When's the last time Beck bothered to check something out before he stated it? Or Hannity, who showed a clip of an Obama statement and then said defiantly that Obama said the opposite? That is not news; that is slanted opinion and riling up people to please their advertisers. These people are being used to promote a product, the Fox brand, and unless they wise up, they will still think that Obama is a communist/fascist/socialist/foreign agent intent on taking the US down fifteen years from now.

    October 8, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Deb (long island)

    It is about time someone questioned their journalism. Their news, polls, etc. vary greatly from all other polls. Heck, they do not post anything but Rasmussen polls. It is sickening to hear the crap and hate they spew and it is horrifying to think of the people that are watching this station and believing everthing they say is gospel.

    October 8, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Ex-NC-Pub

    I can just hear Glenn now... "Since all we have at Fox is blond white people, this is clear proof that Obama is prejudice against white people."

    October 8, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Liberalshavenoballs

    Really? Obama is a community organizer masquerading as a president.

    October 8, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Fox does give conservatives equal time with liberal points of view, unlike NBC, ABC, BBS and PBS. Take Chuck Todd for instance, NBC's Political Analyst. Actually, Nancy Pelosi's lap dog. It's tough to watch his interpretation about what's going on...I bet the administration loves him.

    October 8, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Sheryl

    That's true it's long over-due!!! It should be illegal for Fox to twist the truth like they do it's so misleading that's why I no longer watch Fox News.

    October 8, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. steve

    So it wasn't a terrorist fist bump?

    October 8, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. Mike in MN

    Obama can't take criticism no matter where it comes from. He wants the same free pass he got from all the other press during the campaign. He can't handle having people on FOX News disagree with him or Tea Parties or voters at town halls or even just a simple guy like Joe the Plumber. Obama loves to be loved. He either believes the hype from his kool-aid drinking followers that he is brilliant, and perfect and already the best president in history, or his ego was already that big before he ran for office. In any case he thinks everyone should agree with him and love him. Any one who does not drives him crazy.

    October 8, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. linda

    Thank you Anita Dunn, but no need to question whether.........it is a fact . Fox is in the spin zone of "no".

    October 8, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. John

    hilarious..... the highest rated cable news network on TV is critical of the White House..... whup -dee-doo....

    come on Barack...... nobody is allowed to be critical of your administration? I think Bush and even Clinton had some critics in about every network....

    you complaining about this trite subject makes you look weak.....

    get over it and do something you haven't done yet..... deliver....

    October 8, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Thank you its about time someone told it like it is.

    October 8, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Donna from Colorado Springs

    It's about time that the White House question the ethics or lack of ethics of Fox news. They are so blatantly slanted towards the conservative right that it's ridiculous! The president has every right to choose whom he chooses to talk to, and noone would want to be vilified and harrassed like they would be on that network!

    October 8, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. hockey dad

    If Fox cable continues with their lying, and total disregard for the facts, then they are in fact a propaganda source, and their license should be revoked.

    October 8, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Raymond from Atlanta

    The only people who think Fox isa news network are the right wing nuts who think they can do no wrong.

    October 8, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    Fox News if Pravda for the Republican Party. It always has been and always will be. They constantly made a joke of their "Fair and Balanced" motto. What a bunch of liars.

    October 8, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Todd Schmidt

    I don't see that any of the other news channels are any more valid reporting either. Reporting just good things about the President and the Democrats excludding the unpleasant or unfavorable invalidates the rest. President Obama needs to be a little more thick skinned and mature. Bad mouthing a news channels because they are on the other side is one step away from press control. And lets face it, this presidnet has his face on every media, every day, all the time and long as it is good press. This is not Chicago, your in the world stage now and Mayor Daley and the Democratic machine can not control the world for you. One of President Obama's worst character flaws

    October 8, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. raymond

    Fox doesn't believe in truth, these are not facts, but twisting the truth to make obama look bad

    October 8, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Larry

    I guess loosing in the rating is hurting both CNN and Obama since neither of you can take any comments

    October 8, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Cleaning up after W

    LOL! I agree 100% It's time to call a "spade" a "spade".

    October 8, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Mike, Albany

    Let's compare the Fox commentators with those of MSNBC. Glenn Beck can't spell, and Bill O'Reilly sounds like an uneducated hick. Rachel Maddow, by contrast, holds a PhD from Oxford, and Keith Olbermann has mastered the art of eloquence combined with sharp rhetoric. Yes, both networks have their particular bias, but I would rather listen to the one that employs educated commentators who are able to speak English properly than the bombastic idiots on Fox.

    October 8, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. j-stl

    Doesn't it chill anyone to see the White House directly assault a news organization? Perhaps they should do a Chavez and pull Fox's broadcast license.

    October 8, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Everyone knows that Fox is not a news organization but a mouth piece for Murdoch. Lets also be clear, Fox is the worst of a lot of really bad cable new networks, CNN included. All of them lack objectivity and rarely do they report the news. Remember, news is what people don't want you know now about. Today, the news is used to spread gossip and people's agenda. "News Hour" on PBS is your best bet but still you need to do a lot of crawling around on the internet (and get a lot of different sources).

    To counter the inevitable conservative rant, Fox is singled out because there isn't one liberal or even moderate view point expressed on the show. Everyone they hire to do analysis is from the republican party and everyone single one of them focus on news from a conservative (sometimes extreme) perspective.

    October 8, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. jules sand-perkins

    The White House is dangerously close to an assault on freedom of speech.
    Obama gets plenty of good press. An example is CNN, which does fail to report opposition to Obama, but frequently praises him and publishes so many PR "report" on his children, dog, and sports skills that I start imagining wonderful evenings in destination restaurants with PR representatives.
    Anybody who has been reviewed as a performer of music knows that he will get many great reviews and many terrible reviews, often unrelated to the way he actually played.
    A pianist or violinist cannot shut down a critic who doesn't like him, but it's a different thing with the President, who has many routes of power, so the WH's opposition to a news organization is dangerous.
    It is the job of Fox News to report either opposition to, or praise for the President.
    If Obama can't take the heat, a lot of Americans who aren't journalists will be happy if he gets out of the kitchen.

    October 8, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Rick in OP

    The socialist crybabies are whining because the only news organization they cannot control has the audacity to report something other than White House approved talking points. Fox News could not buy better publicity than this.

    October 8, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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