October 11th, 2009
08:29 PM ET
12 years ago

WH aide: Fox News operates like an arm of the GOP

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Far from backing away from its recent slam at 24-hours cable news outlet Fox News, the White House is stepping up its criticism of the cable news network.

“The reality of it is that Fox often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party,” White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

Dunn said that Obama had recently chosen not to appear on Fox because of the administration’s belief that Fox is ideologically predisposed against Obama and his agenda.

But Dunn pointed out that during his presidential campaign and since being elected, Obama has been interviewed by Fox News, and will be again in the future.

“He’ll go on Fox because he engages with ideological opponents,” Dunn told CNN’s Howard Kurtz. “He has done that before and he’ll do it again.”

But Dunn was quick to add that the White House does not consider an interview with Fox comparable to interviews with other media outlets.

“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."

“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 told Kurtz.

“But let’s not pretend that they’re a news network the way CNN is,” the White House communications director added.

In a written statement given to CNN, Fox News said its programming was comparable to the editorial page of a newspaper.

“An increasing number of viewers are relying on Fox News for both news and opinion,” Fox News Senior VP Michael Clemente said in the statement, “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.

“So with all due respect to anyone who might still be confused about the difference between news reporting and vibrant opinion, my suggestion would be to talk about the stories and the facts rather than the attack the messenger . . . which over time has never worked.”

In an interview with Time Magazine released late last week, Dunn said Fox News was “opinion journalism masquerading as news.”

"They are boosting their audience. But that doesn't mean we are going to sit back," also told the magazine.

Filed under: Extra • Fox News • GOP • Obama administration • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. indiana voter

    If the Obama administration is so afraid of Fox News, how will they ever confront Iran, North Korea, and the terrorists in Afghanistan? What a bunch of wusses in the White House we have today. Not only that, we have a bunch of wuss followers on this site as well getting their panties all in a bunch because of a news network that actually reports truth in a world full of liberal biased news. It just dives you liberal pansies crazy when Fox's ratings outnumber all of your stations combined. Democrats=cry babies.

    October 11, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. Kevin

    This is really funny, and hypocritical too. The White House is going to cry about FOX but it is ok for ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC to operate as the propaganda wing of the liberal socialist democratic party. This is just more typical bs politics in America.

    October 11, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. G

    What a joke this women is!!!

    October 11, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Pearl

    It is sad that here in our United States we can not leave hate and intolerance where it belongs in the toilet. It is also a shame to show that face to the nations of the world. They must surely wonder how we can
    with pride elect a candidate and then within a few short months attempt
    to tear him down for the sake of of of ..what.?

    October 11, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Notnowmooky

    Fox is owned by an Australian billionaire. He does not give a rip about America. He's a business man who has found and filled a niche. It's alway interesting how the wingnuts complain about Soros but then take all their talking points from Murdoch. At least Soros is American.

    October 11, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Interceptor

    There can be no doubt that Fox News is the most biased cable network claiming to be a news organization in human history, of course, unless you consider are braindead and Glenn Beck, Karl Rove and Sean Hannity to be impartial and balanced reporters of facts. Fox News hires female "news" broadcasters based on looks alone.

    October 11, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  7. Hope

    And all the other major news stations are arms of the Democratic Party. Why else would they give Mr Obama a pass on the Rev J, Mr Van and the
    the man from the Weathermen. Why else would the media not take him apart over giving billions of dollars in bailouts without making sure there were rules on how it was to be used.

    Before anyone says anything about me being a mouth piece for the Reps., I am a life long Democrat over 55, who has never voted any way but Democratic and that includes the last presidential election. I am now very concerned because our president seems inexperience and out of his league with the folks he surrounds himself with. They are of questionable character.

    October 11, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. Steve

    Faux News is a medium for low IQ people who cannot discern "Fair and Balanced" news with Truth and real journalism. Their brand of journalism belongs to the gutter!

    October 11, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. Victim of Liberal stupidity

    With the remainder of our so called News agencies in the tank for the liberals, I thank God everyday for FOX News. Call it what you want but they are the only ones ringing the alarm bell on what is transpiring before our very noses. Think of it America, you now have the Federal Government wanting to regulate the type of lite bulb you choose to use... Why should someone in Florida pay for healthcare for an illegal immigrant in California? That and 10 trillion in debt is the least of what the Fed has done for us in the last 20 years! States Rights, back to what the Constitution established not what the Usurper in Chief and Comrade Hillary have in mind!

    October 11, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. Willy Brown

    And CNN, PMSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC & PBS don't act like an arm of the DNC.

    October 11, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  11. DDB

    Obama and his staff continue to suck up to CNN, MSNBC and the other cowardly so called "news" outlets. Anita Dunn has a lot of room to talk. The way the Obama team has used the liberal media to push his agenda, to lie about his policies, and to attack anyone who opposes his idology. It is pathetic that this moron was elected to "change" America, promising transparency and healing. The reality is, he and his "staff" have driven the two sides further apart. Change!! America can't stand too much more his his kind of change. At least FoxNews has a mind of its own. Pathetic. Shame on Anita Dunn, and on CCN for reporting this kind of crap!!

    October 11, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. paul

    Obama has appeared on Letterman and Leno and.... Are those bastions of journalism? What would have been the reaction is G Bush would habe refused to speak to MSNBC?

    October 11, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. Luke Brown

    America! Wake up!

    What happens on FOX is not news. The scary thing is that many of you think is. They have little regard for the truth, but a lot of interest in promoting their ideological bias.

    They would be lost without talking points from the Republican party.

    While FOX has gathered an impressive number of high-profile journalists, all of them have been lured by the promise of huge pots of money. Selling your integrity to cash in the news business is hardly a new thing, but FOX has taken it to a new level.

    October 11, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    The White House isn't calling for censorship; its calling for truth in reporting.

    Everyone knows that FOX is the propaganda arm of the GOP and has been for several years. Heck, Karl Rove left the Bush Administration and immediately became a FOX "commentator," pushing the Republican agenda!

    October 11, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. Eric-30m-PUMA voted McCain

    That's right, there is no cheerleading at Fox. Sorry Obama.

    October 11, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. me

    the head of tje gop research, communications
    and lobbying group is cnn's john king.

    October 11, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Nancy Burt

    Oops, Am I bad – the last comment was meant for Vic of San Antonio.

    October 11, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. Dean

    I suppose she thinks MSNBC is really a reliable source for fair news reporting. And she probably thinks ACORN is a wonderful organization that is above reproach.

    October 11, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. victim of republican greed

    I think Fox sticks to their agenda fairly well. Fox supports corporate greed, (like the health insurance industry or Halliburton, Enron, etc.) and uses those who are not too bright to spread the hate against any group that tries to reform it.

    October 11, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. carlos, THAT one

    I honestly think that if we can do things without the repugnants we can also do without ox news (no misspelling here).........after all, just look who listens to it and you can easily figure out their mentality.....nothing there

    October 11, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    The republicans always resort to the "liberal bias of the MSM". How all the major networks EXCEPT Fake News is "gotcha" media.

    Of course, the "drive-by" media deals in facts.

    Faux News would not know a fact if walked up and introduced itself to Rupert Murdoch or Lush Limprick.

    October 11, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. mac from Texas

    I do not consider Fox to be a news outlet at all. They are much more an entertainment venue, much like wrestling. I am always amazed when someone actually tells me that they "get the news" from Hannity, Beck, etc. What a joke!

    October 11, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  23. kerzell, ca

    Aren't we supposed to be fighting terrorists? Why hasn't anyone called for the dismissal of Hannity, Beck and O'reilly for consistantly agreeing with Rush Limbaugh who is an admitted terrorist? And those politicians who defame America overseas to our enemies.

    I say we all make a citizens arrest against all of them for treason.

    October 11, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. ib

    This is another lie put out by Obama. Obama and the libs can't stand Fox News because they show both sides of an issue. Thank goodness we have at least one news outlet that does not bow down to King Obama on a regular basis.

    October 11, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. Obama fan...not!

    Hmmm.....CNN mderating a discussion on its competition.....that seems fair.....why don't we check the ratings to see what the people think...NO CONTEST.....Are you lobbying for a bailout CNN?

    October 11, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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