October 27th, 2009
04:53 PM ET
11 years ago

Jarrett makes, retracts charge Fox is biased

(CNN) - The White House carefully continued its assault on Fox News Tuesday, as a senior White House adviser told CNN's Campbell Brown that the network was "of course" biased against the Obama administration, but immediately backtracked slightly.

Speaking at the Women's Conference in California, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett said the Obama administration is "calling everybody out" when it comes to "patterns of distortion" - echoing the Democratic National Committee's "Call 'em Out" campaign that targets critics of the president's health care plan.

To the question of whether Fox News is biased, Jarrett replied: "Well, of course they're biased. Of course they are."

But when Brown followed up by asking Jarrett if she thinks MSNBC is biased, she quickly downplayed her original remark. "Actually, I don't want to generalize all of Fox is biased or that another station is biased. I think what we want to do is look at it on a case-by-case basis," she said. "When we see a pattern of distortion, we're going to be honest about that pattern of distortion....

"We're actually calling everybody out. So this isn't anything that's simply directed at Fox. We just want the American people to have a really clear understanding," said Jarrett.

Watch Campbell Brown's interview with Valerie Jarrett Tuesday beginning at 8 p.m. ET on CNN

soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. OWNED

    Campbell Brown is such a good journalist, to me. She got Tucker Bounds during the campaign, and now she asked the simple follow-up question that everyone else has been missing.

    October 27, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. S M R

    Just how many of the FOX Representitives do you truthfully think want President Obama to FAIL? Is this BIASED coverage. I VOTE YES 😦

    October 27, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Doug

    It's very clear. If the administration's message is being challenged, they will smear you until they get the advantage again. They, as Anita Dunn admitted, do everything they can to control the media, control the message. When others challenge them and stop drinking the Obama Koolaid, they go on the attack.

    October 27, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Pat F

    Obama is violating the First Amendment by a campaign of threats and intimidation against media critical of him. Pure and simple – it's the Nixon years all over again.

    It's as plain as the nose on your face.

    October 27, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. IndyVoter

    BOTTOM LINE: MSNBC's Prime Time line up is biased, but it is not intended to be NEWS. They are Prime Time shows that talk about political issues. The MSNBC News shows are not biased they just report the news. ON THE OTHER HAND, not only are FOX's Prime Time and speciaity shows biased, the shows that are supposed to be just reporting the news are biased too! That's the difference. MSNBC doesn't try to act like they are "fair and balanced" when clearly they know they are being biased. FOX though, tries to act like they are being balanced even when they are not.

    October 27, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Pfft

    Yep, Fox is biased toward the truth with a lot of skepticism when it comes to Obama. Everyone else is biased to what Obama brainwashes as truth.

    October 27, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Bryan

    Liberals can dish it out but can't take it. They just can't admit that FOX simply balances the equation. If everything that Beck, Hannity, and O'Reilly says in factually untrue, the station would have been sued out of existence by now. Hmmm... makes you think... could what they're saying actually be correct? Just because you don't like hearing something (and just because it puts the person you voted for in a negative light) doesn't mean you should immediately label it as a lie.

    October 27, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Melinda Independent

    Good follow up, Campbell. I wish other reporters would have done the same when other Obama administration people were lashing out against FOX ( Axelrod and Rahm-I am looking at you.) Where in the US constitution does it stipulate that the Executive Branch gets to decide what is or is not news? it is up to the American people. Considering how FOX is stomping all competitors, it seems as if the public is with FOX.

    October 27, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Of course they are!

    Of course they're biased, they're all biased with CNBC on the opposite side of the yardstick with Fox. With so many spinning the news for ratings it's a wonder the country hasn't failed already. CNN is more biased on posts to their blogs than they are on the air. Definitely more liberal leanings in the web group editors. I generally watch/listen to them all and read from many sources inside and outside of our country to get an informed opinion. That opinion isn't good: Obama is failing as our leader; borrowing and spending to get out of debt still won't work (it never has and never will); investors in US markets will lose in the long run unless it's gold or oil (assuming the government doesn't take our profits it away); and yes, illegals are killing our system and the only way to fix it is to make them legal....as long as they can pay a fee to get in like $5000 per person or more. Then we'll have the problem of where they get the $5000....likely from legal citizens in an illegal fashion.

    October 27, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. LouieD

    Weak! Way to give ammo to the Foxbots, Jarrett.

    If you're going to play this game, play it smart. What you SHOULD have said is: "It can be argued, and certainly many people do, that MSNBC is biased in our favor. However, MSNBC carries by far more accurate news reporting and more informed commentary than Fox. So if their more responsible handling of the facts leads to a bias in our favor, it simply reflects our own efforts to work out America's concerns within realistic parameters - and to call out others (such as Fox News) who would insist on doing otherwise."

    Is it biased of CNN to keep implying that its 2 main competitors are biased?

    October 27, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Gregg

    Fox News is a joke, i knew there was a reason CNN let Beck go, hes where he belongs, on that far right, biased, one way street, news station, that only has far right people on there panels, hey Fox, where is your Peabody Award? Hannity is another, only ever has wanna be comedians on his show, where as CNN has actual elected officials, that know what they are talking about, CNN reigns supreme for world news hands down.

    October 27, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. S M R

    The LEFT LEANING News Networks BRAG UP OBAMA because TRUTHFULLY He is doing a GREAT JOB at steering OUR GREAT COUNTRY out of the ditch where Bush/Cheney left her.

    October 27, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Marshall

    Remember it is only bias if they don't agree with you.

    October 27, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. anthony

    MSNBC is not biased, They speak the truth and let people know what fixed news and the Gop stoppers are all about. They don't care about you just themselves.

    October 27, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. catmom

    Oh give me a break Obama haters. The people around George Bush–KARL ROVE– did the same thing and more. Get over it. If it was good enough for George Bush than it's good enough for President Obama. Bush and company made up the rules during their eight years and President Obama and his people are just going by the same rules.

    October 27, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  16. inofritzn

    This makes me sick, sick, sick! What a desperate president. Going after a private company, what _ country do we live in? China, Venezuela Syria? Maybe if Obama had a plan and a pair he wouldn't have to target critics to silence them. what a joke. BTW I don't like FOX, but if MSNBC is ok then FOX should be too. OHHH that's right WHY DO THEY CARE IN THE FIRST PLACE? Fox can be FOX and MSNBC can be MSNBC. Welcome to America!

    October 27, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. LacrosseMom

    Faux News IS biased! Its not "news" it is the GOP's propaganda channel, all of us know this. All one has to do is listen to any of their "shows" and it is quite obvious.

    Last I heard we have Freedom of Speech, even though I am nauseated by Faux News, I will defend their right to say it.

    However, President Obama, Valerie Jarrett and the rest of us, are also FREE to tell Faux News that they are ........ BIASED.

    At our house we boycott ALL Faux Media.

    October 27, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. Jace

    I'm glad that somebody in the media finally asked the Obama administration about MSNBC. Funny how Jarret backed off her statement about bias. Olbermann is far worse than anybody on FOX. Hopefully the media will start to treat Obama the same way they treated Bush. It's becoming evident that Obama doesn't respect free speech!

    October 27, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. rebekah

    so let me get this straight, it's alright that Bush and his cronies coined the phrase "if your not for us your against us" but you have a problem with this administration speaking out against some of the the un-truths being told by Fox? Amazing...unbelievably amazing

    October 27, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. inofritzn

    I made a mistake voting for this joke. I'll be redeeming myself 2012.

    October 27, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. S M R

    The GOP "JUST CAN'T HANDLE " the fact that President Obama is POTUS ( half black) and slowly turning OUR Country around. I feel GREAT!!!

    October 27, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. Tina

    Fox news is a trusted, truthful and unbiased network. They tell the truth even it it hurs. They're the only ones that covers John Jones, ACORN, etc. If feel bad for other new network that had to be puppets for Obama's administration.

    Most people I know value Fox news as their #1 reliable news network. I second it with CNN. Other networks, I absolutely don't waste my time with then not even a 2nd.

    Good job to Campbell brown for good follow-up questions. it shows how shallow are the communications teams of the Obama administration. Come on! Whitehouse should had been at top of their values and morales, don't stoop too low and be bullies. Let FREEDOM OF SPEECH reign in journalism.

    October 27, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. A Kickin' Donkey

    I fully support holding all media accountable.

    I, for one, am tired of their sanctimonious cry of "Freedom of the Press" as their defense for boorish behavior. It ranks right up there with "2nd Ammendment rights" for garnering my ridicule.

    I want guests to put these talking head back on their heels when they ask a silly, self-serving, tabloid journalism type question simply to stir the pot.

    I wish Valerie's response had been, " Campbell, how would you answer your own question, you are an American citizen? What do YOU think, is Fox News biased?

    With that simple response, Valerie Jarrett would have put media on notice. The message would have been that Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown and any other journalist that wants to be taken seriously had better be prepared to put their personal and professional credibility on the line. That's what Walter Cronkite did and that's why we respected him.

    October 27, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. Obama fails= Americans win

    Get ready libs! your time is done. Americans now see what this communist is all about. Fox has been reporting the truth and more and more people see it. This is the begining of the end for liberalism.

    October 27, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. Ron

    Who cares what this pay for play crook thinks?

    October 27, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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