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. Grant

    Love it when the Repugs get themselves all worked up. Can't think of a better world than one without their ignorance being spread.

    October 27, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. Mike in MN

    News channels with a conservative lean = 1, Fox News
    News channels with a liberal lean = all the rest.
    Obama should be happy that there is only one that asks the tough questions and has more opinions that are critical than that are not.
    And to be honest, Obama is biased. He has his own opinion on how he wants to do things. Not everyone agrees, in fact polls show about half the voters in America don't agree with Obama. Even many in his own party do not. Obama should be more worried about 50% of voters not agreeing with him on his policies than about one news station that is more conservative than the others. Not to bright, but he does give a great speech in front of a telepromter.

    October 27, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Robin

    It's not called "Hating the Prez". As you liberals like to say. It is calling The President out to take accountability for the job he is doing.

    I'm surprised you don't realize that. After all, you were very good at it for the past 8 years.

    One of Obama's Czars has the job of possibly subsidizing Newspapers. The papers survival will depend on if the GOVERNMENT likes what it prints. (Yes, fact check it).

    Is this what we have to look forward too? News outlets being "threatened" if they do not side with the President. I don't know, it sounds a little 1930 Germany to me. And we all know how that turned out.

    October 27, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. terry,va

    Obummie better leave Fox alone. He is carrying a knife to a gun fight. Fox reports while others ignore. This is America at least until Obummie turns it into Russia.

    October 27, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. cora

    CAMPBELL BROWN has always been full of bull, it's just now starting to show since the Obama (adm) is calling out her FOX counterparts out.

    October 27, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. you betcha

    Well, if Fox news is biased. So is the majority of the country. AGAINST Obama. Can you say ratings?????? Fox news is DOMINATING the media ratings. Soooo, if the people in this country feel Fox is so terrible and trying to bring obama down, if they think Fox is racist and all the other nasty little words being tossed out,,,, Why do they WATCH FOX?????

    Because they agree,,,,,

    October 27, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. Albo58

    Wow, exactly what day was that when this administration actually "called out" MSNBC, CNN, ABC, or CBS? Was their admonishment for not "worshipping" the President enough? Jarrett has no creditability!

    October 27, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. JulesKS

    Thank you CNN. I just want to know who's truth Valerie Jarret values. Obviously her own. In my experience truthfullness and politics never go hand in hand. What she means is....we're going to call out those who don't see things our way. Typical Washington.

    October 27, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Debby

    I don't watch Campbell Brown but sit on our Lazy Boys watching Bill O'Reilly. haha

    October 27, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. Steph

    The woman speaks the truth. They are biased! Please someone tell me the last positive story they've done on the President. Heck, I'd be happy if someone could cite a neutral story about the President on Fox.

    October 27, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. Conservative

    I love hearing people complain about FOX News. Honestly FOX reports the news where the other stations have candy coated any items that might go against the current administration. FOX News is unbiased, it is the commentary that are right sided and that is their right. Liberals hate criticism and I am just laughing now at all the Liberals running scared.

    October 27, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. realist

    If the folks in the whitehouse dont know what truth is, how would they expect their employees to know what it is, and furthermore how would they know how to disseminate actual truth from their propaganda? Who exactly are they to appoint themselves judge and jury of what is and what is not news, and what is and is not truth. Let the people judge for themselves. Oh yes they already have-Fox News viewership is up 10 percent.

    October 27, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. OldUncleTom

    When a network touts "fair and balanced" as a slogan, and that slogan is the only detectable portion of their broadcast that indicates that status, I call it biased.

    This is not to say that other sources are not biased, but they don't pretend otherwise.

    MSNBC may slant the news, but Fox invents it. There is a difference.

    October 27, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. Idiot_Pelosi

    Some FOX Distortation:

    Van Jones FOX proved Correct

    ACORN FOX proved Correct

    Taxes in HC Bill FOX proved Correct

    OBOZO and his DUMocRATS just can't stand the head in the kitchen.
    They went over board with BUSH, but when the shoe is on the other foot, they cry and whine like a bunch of babies.

    OBOZO is a disgrace and everyone is learing the truth about this incompentent Bozo.

    October 27, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  15. Idiot_Pelosi

    Seems the LIBERALS can't handle the truth. FOX NEWS is exposing OBUMMER and his CORRUPT Administration for their criminal ways, their SOCIALIST agenda, and most Americans aren't going to stand for it; ie, pay more taxes and cover the costs of others.

    Your LIBERAL pukes can start paying your own way for ONCE because the CONSERVATIVES refuse to carry you anymore.

    Ha Ha. Now deal with it.

    October 27, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. trustisearned

    Ms. Brown, we know which way you lean, so I congratulate you on asking what must have been a difficult question for you. I enjoyed you surprising Ms. Jarrett with your followup that pointed out her uneven handedness but rightfullly puts CNN as somewhere between FOX and MSNBC as far as balance.

    October 27, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Harvie from PA

    Let's call it down the middle. Fox has a conservative lean and is surely sympathic to the Right. MSNBC is the same, but in the opposite direction. It does not feel that MSNBC is as bad as FOX because of where I stand. However, the truth is the truth. CNN seems to be the most balanced with both left and right programming. CNN, keep doing what you do, and I will continue to watch.

    FOX and MSNBC, be honest with where you stand. The rhetorical "fair and balance" is the farthest from the truth. It is an insult to the American people.

    October 27, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. jack

    I don't watch Fox. I get real news from real reporters who write for a living. Meaning READ! Not watch. Television quit doing real journalism back in the 80's when cable first came about.

    I know, I used to work in TV news back then. No reporter left the assignment desk without the clipping from the newspaper of the story they would be covering that day. Management became so afraid of losing viewers (meaning dollars) they told us in meetings to start making the news more "entertaining". That's when someone hung a sign on the newsroom door, the picture was of a new gravestone waiting to be carved. It read, Real Journalism-RIP, and had that days date on it.

    Now almost thirty years later it still rings true. And has always been true for Fox. It wasn't until then that Fox started to broadcast. And guess what they didn't get clippings they got memos from Roger Ailes (or A lies, if your into anagrams) which is just what Fox broadcasts.

    October 27, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. Mike

    What a load of crap! And of course as usual the liberals come on here to defend MSNBC or bash Fox even more. With this obsession people have of sensationalize propaganda from myopic viewpoints it's no wonder we can't get the real news. Neither side is willing to listen to the other side and the fact that the White House is participating in an aggressive campaign to silence any and all dissenting viewpoints is disturbing.

    October 27, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. Vatar

    Rep. Bart Stupak (D.-Mich.) told CNSNews.com that President Barack Obama told him in a telephone conversation that when he said in his Sept. 9 speech to a joint session of Congress that “under our plan no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions” he was not talking about the actual bill drafted in the House but about the president’s own health care plan—which has never been written.

    October 27, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. mjzke4

    Free speech is under attack and most comments are aimed at "liberals" or "conservatives", in other words "Democrats" or "Republicans." Wake up, folks, the politicians, regardless of which of the two main political parties are in power, are waging a war against free speech. INSIST on having the news media, regardless of bias, give us JUST the actual news and not the views, as is supposed to be the case (lose the adjectives!), and then we'll see some change. Also, if you want REAL change, vote out ALL incumbents and vote only for candidates who are NOT Democrat or Republican. The bureaucrats will keep the government running just fine despite the politicians' turnover.

    October 27, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. more dems watch fox

    It's more dems watch fox than repug just to see what that evil GLEN BECK is up to, them Demon's came out when he get suspended.

    October 27, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. Al - Washington

    I rate Fox News and CNN pretty close. MSNBC is a farce. That lesbo gal that thinks she's a journalist needs to find a new occupation, like diffusing bombs or something. I've never liked the commentators at either Fox or CNN because after a news story, they seem to think the people can't hear because they come on and tell what someone just said, like I didn't watch and hear for myself. We can do without their assessments, thank you.

    October 27, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  24. Lorianne

    What a weak response.
    That was embarrassing.

    October 27, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. nat, NYC

    What is going on in USA now, reminds me my childhood in Russia, when my parents will lower they voices when they criticized government or General Secretary (Brezhnev). In school we, "the pioneers", learned speeches of Brezhnev and cheered his wisdom and charisma, even everyone was aware that our Gen. Secretary had a dementia. What about Freedom of speech, the Socialists?

    October 27, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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