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. single mom

    They have every other station and paper in their back pockets and they are whining about ONE?
    Wow. I guess they have everything else under control then – recession, unemployment, Afghanistan, China, North Korea, etc – if they have time to get upset with the only channel that has the chutzpah to question them.

    October 8, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. zivo24

    Don't just love the mentality and sheer audicity of neo-cons.

    They defend Fox as "fair and balanced" despite numerous independent studies that have showed it is, by far, the most biased new station.

    But they SCREAM about the rest of the media – again, despite the fact that those same studies show the opposite to be true

    I remember at least twice that Fox, while covering a breaking story on scandals related to two politicians – Mark Foley and John Ensign – and displayed ech of their names with (D) after them as Fox's cameras showed them on their perp walks.

    Both Foley and Ensign are republicans.

    Spin, neo-cons, SPIN!

    October 8, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. LiLa

    A network can be critical of the President as long as they don't bill themselves as a news network. The White House has it right - Fox produces opinion journalism. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    October 8, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. Mike in MN

    What Obama can't stand is Fox airs a lot of facts that they don't want out. Like Van Jones and ACORN and all his creepy radical czars and radical friends from the past and present. Every president has to deal with those who disagree. Every news channel had plenty of voices who disagreed with Bush. The truth is Fox is the only source for conservatives to go to out side of Lou Dobbs on CNN to hear like minded individuals. If you want to hear the liberal point of view, you can pick out any news channel out side of Fox. If the other channels gave more air time to conservative analyists, they would get more conservative viewers.
    You can take away Fox News. But conservatives would still be opposed to Obama's out of control spending, huge deficits, cap and trade, health care reform that has a pubic option and huge price tag, his indecision on Afghanistan and on and on. I don't need to watch Fox News to know where I stand on the issues.

    October 8, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. JonDie

    Fox News is purely entertainment for the deluded and for right-wingers (oop, that's redundant); it is NOT journalism of any kind.

    October 8, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. AJ

    Fox doesn't report biased news. They have biased programming. There is a huge difference. I can't believe the morons of this country can't get that simple truth.
    The left has CNN, NBC, Washington Post, etc etc etc, who lean left. Fox's programming leans right.
    Because there is only one choice for "right wing" news, Fox is destroying the other networks in viewership.
    Both sides spew their hate. Both sides are equally responsible for the decline in journalism.

    October 8, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Buster

    CNN and Fox both do a pretty good job but they both have one sided people. MSNBC and the entire night staff is on the White House payroll. They wouldn't know the truth if it hit them in the face. Keith Olberliar is one of the most disgusting people to be on the airwaves, just like Rosie O.

    October 8, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. JP

    Not including FOX the media for the most part has given Obama a free ride.

    October 8, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Texas Observer

    We need to take down Fox. This is the biggest threat by far to our future.
    Go to the website of colorofchange.org and sign up for the petition againt the loon Beck

    October 8, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. KrisC

    i must say that if you are DUMB enough to believe Fox Noise then I truely feel sorry for you! Some light googling, which anyone can do, of the "facts" you hear from Fox will show you how FALSE their "facts" really are! I pray for all of you who really believe Fox...it's so sad! Do your own research...just because their run by Right-wing republicans doesn't mean they're accurate! USE YOUR BRAIN PEOPLE!!!!

    October 8, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. billa007

    Some have pointed out that being critical is good. I agree.

    But what FOX news does is either misquote facts or plainly lie. That is bad.

    October 8, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. PK

    It's kind of pathetic for the White House to attack anyone who criticizes them. It's even sadder that there's only one network to attack.

    October 8, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Peterson

    Those guys are just crazy, Sean Hannity, bill o'reilly
    i can't believe they call themselves Journalist.......

    October 8, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Only 23% of the country approve of Republican'ts in Congress

    Sweet! It's about time the Admistration called Cluster Fox what it REALLY is! All Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and all the rest of those bums are interested in is lining their pockets on the backs of all of you FOOLS who watch them.!

    October 8, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Buster

    Fox sure does present stories that have facts AND video to support them. Van Jones, ACORN, Obama's lies and lies and lies and lies and lies and lies.

    October 8, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Randolph Carter

    Nothing wrong with criticizing the prez. It's the opinion peices, cherry picking or omitting facts and outright repeating of baseless rumors that get me. Just for once, I'd like to see them do real journalism and fact check everything and present it in an unbiased manner. They can't do it, though. It's just not in them. Yes, MSNBC and the like are just as bad. I gave up watching American news long ago. BBC does a much better job of being somewhat objective. Have a nice day!

    October 8, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Carmelle

    On a serious note....the media in general dropped the ball when it came HCR.

    It took them 2 months to finally call out the lies, to discredit Betsy (they're trying to kill grandma) McCaughey, for KO to make a compelling and personal Special Comment, to call them what they are LIARS!

    But now, Billo and Sheperd at Fox are supporting the PO.

    Go figure.

    October 8, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Lynda

    I have refused to watch Fox ....... Hannity, Beck and the likes of these racist people are not giving the news they are just pushing Hate and lies.......I will never watch Fox.......

    October 8, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Doug

    As an Obama democrat, I find it pathetic that the Communications director can't communicate better with all the media. The obvious problem for the white house is that they feel that their message is not getting through, and then it is called politics or bias. So ms. dunn will spin to the others and attack fox. Some national message, why can't we get the same message distributed to everyone.

    October 8, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Nan

    Fox plays to its "Christian" conservative audience. To be fair MSNBC is the other extreme. With 24 hour news cycles it is difficult to find real news vs opinion on any station. News should be reported without opinion being interjected. However, those days are long gone.

    October 8, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. OIF VET

    Wow, if Obama would focus this energy on the REAL WAR we have in Iraq and Afghanistan, maybe we would actually WIN. WHO CARES ABOUT FOX NEWS???!!!!!!!! More saddened by Obama every single day. SHAME ON YOU OBAMA – SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN ARE DYING WHILE YOU WORRY ABOUT SOME LAME NETWORK NEWS.

    October 8, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. johnnie w

    Cnn fess up your just as BAD as Fox DIRT News, your TOTAL IN BED WITH Fox News, that why have them in your Headlines, we are not as DUMB as you REALLY ARE. ASK LOU DOBBS . and Bill Bennett , i dare you PRINT THIS COMMENT........

    October 8, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. Cleaning up after W

    Unbelievable how GOPers can whine 24/7 about the "biased, liberal media" but when liberals complain about the obviously right-wing-talking-point-machine known as Fox "News" (man it hurts to type those two words together) they get their tighty whities in a bunch.

    Which is more probable:
    1. ALL the news organizations out there EXCEPT Fox is biased, or
    2. The majority of the news organizations are neutral and Fox is biased.

    Logic tells me that it's more likely that one network is biased, rather than all being biased, but logic doesn't seem like something that comes into play much for viewers of Dubya's favorite station.

    October 8, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Reagan was wrong


    Everyone's known for years that there is no actual journalism going on at the FOX Infotainment Channel. FOX apologists are always mentioning how FOX's ratings are better than CNN's, but what they never mention is how study after study finds that FOX viewers are consistently among the most misinformed Americans (on Al Queda and WMD's during the Bush years, on Death Panels and health care these days).

    That's the ultimate condemnation of FOX News's "journalism" – the more you watch it, the less you know.

    October 8, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. cora - ark

    It's about time the white house do something about the hatred and bigotry FOX news sprew about the president, I've been tired of it.

    October 8, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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