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. JerseyMike

    WOW. Sounds like Valerie Jarrett is biased to me.

    October 27, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  2. OH-Brother

    CNN viewers think Fox News is biased. I wonder why? Maybe that CNN itself is a left leaning organization and it's views are liberals as well. Hello pot, this is the kettle, um...your black.

    October 27, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  3. Earz

    I find some of the delivery on Fox News opinion shows a bit annoying for sure , but I have gotten more information from Democrats on that channel as well as backed up with videtape information on the current administration , than all other media combined , and this is just watching 10 minutes here or there. It almost seems like they are the only station asking the hard questions at times , and with all thats going on in Washington , as well as all thats been proposed to happen with this administration , I would say we need the harder questions from all media at this time.

    October 27, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  4. Roger92

    A strong argument would be: "Fox is wrong, and here's why...." A weak argument is "Fox is unfair." Pretending neutrality is not only impossible given the nature of the office, it's not even desirable. Use the presidency to confront your critics and advance your views as a political actor. Using the office to pretend at being being some kind of disinterested spectator is just ridiculous, given the platform you have to advance your own views and policies.

    October 27, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. A.B.

    CNN should get its facts straight. First of all, Valarie Jarrett has not retracted her previous statement about Fox News being biased. In fact, she restated it during her interview with Campbell Brown. Ms. Jarrett simply said that the she and the Obama Administration will state the truth and facts about the healthcare problems and their causes and will call out people who distort the truth. They will educate the American people on the need for reform and about the pending legislation H.R. 3200. This does not qualify as a retraction of her previous statements. It is a well-known fact that Fox News is a biased media outlet and is a propaganda organ for the conservative movement.

    October 27, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  6. Riaz, NJ

    Ok.. FOX is biased; MSNBC is not; Why is the Presidents approval rating falling ?

    – Was there a secret deal with drug companies ?
    – Where is the promised health care ?
    – What is the Afgan strategy ?
    – Why is Unemployment still high, DOW touched 10000 points ?
    – Iran and Palestine issue, what is the status ?

    Issues are not getting resolved .. other than hours of GREAT SPEECH by the President and wonderful cover-up by his STAFF, please REMEMBER people like me who voted for a CHANGE .... We are yet to see CHANGE....

    October 27, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. charlie in Maine

    I demand an apology for the hasty retraction. Fox New is more than biased it is warped.

    October 27, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  8. billy

    Every news organization is biased. Every human being is biased. We all have bias. People need to learn to be tolerant and not get upset because someone disagrees with them. Grow up. Life isn't perfect and it isn't supposed to be perfect. And by the way you do have choice you don't have to watch FOX. The best way destroy a news organization is to ignore it.. Look at our news papers

    October 27, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. Bren

    Valerie Jarrett--–the same person that said she was proud to have Van Jones---the radical, racist, anti-American, self proclaimed Communist---as part of the Obama Admin.

    The 2010 and 2012 elections cannot get here soon enough!!!

    And, based on recent unbiased, national polls--Rasmussen, Gallup, etc.-–the loony left are the minority in the country.

    October 27, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. corey

    It amazes me the people that totally believe everything on fox. I try to be balance and I watch all three networks. But I have the hardest time watching FOX. Anyone who believes that they are balanced really has no grasp. If you haven't guessed I lean to the left. But one thing that MSNBC does is criticizes the left and the administration. Anyone who has watched it has seen this. Now one thing I have never seen is the same towards the right on FOX. All there fire goes towards the left. That said how can anyone say that the are not biased. Very simple republicans, when has fox blasted the right?

    October 27, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. LacrosseMom

    Liberals are not in a panic........... we know that the GOP has a history of over playing its politics of hate, lies, fear and division!

    So....... IF "Obama fails = America wins"!?????

    Did we WIN for the last EIGHT YEARS under the Bush Regime?

    October 27, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. AmericanGirl1773

    It is beneath the dignity of the office of the President to lob childish barbs in an overt and despicable attempt to silence all who disagree with your incredibly leftist agenda. Perhaps more importantly, as regards the First Amendment, your efforts to sideline Fox News seem not only intended to silence their chatter but could also be interpreted as thinly veiled message to all media to play nice (i.e. your way or the highway.) Time to grow up, Mr. Obama and staff. Please put on your big boy panties, read and adhere to the US Constitution, and begin to represent the office of the President, and our great Nation, in a fashion which elicits respect and admiration.

    October 27, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  13. Ed

    "Speaking truth to power" ????

    What bubble is this woman living in? They are the power now.

    Pathetic, ridiculous and scary at the same time.

    October 27, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. MMG

    If you want news, go to a foreign news outlet. All US news media is biased, and profit based. Best news going is CBC, or BBC, or the Brazilian news if you read Spanish.


    October 27, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  15. jim

    If you disagree with Obama they are going to after you! Wow, what happened to a good debate? Obama is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy to thin skinned.

    October 27, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. Pat Taylor

    Fox? MSNBC? They're not the jokes...

    Just look at these postings. Listen to the things you say. You should be ashamed of yourselves. One of you said that all conservatives were sitting in their Lazyboys watching Fox all day (actually, we're businessmen; that's what we are - not beer drinking rednecks with no social contribution to make). You make racist statements about Obama and how "we" don't like him.

    This has nothing to do with like. If you can read, read the Constitution. It doesn't really matter who "you" and "you" and "you" are; it matters what We are. And that's spelled out in the Constitution. And, however you spin it, the President's involvement in trying to shut down a media station is wrong. wrong.

    He's got better things to do; things he promised and can't deliver.

    October 27, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. DJ

    More then 50% of Fox viewers still believe Saadam Hussein was behind 9/11.

    October 27, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  18. OFL

    CNN deserves praise for raising the issue. Fox News has two components: news and commentary. The news part cannot be considered biased. The commentary part is a question we can easily answer. Sean Hannity has always been upfront about his thoughts. Up until this year he was the conservative half of the dynamic duo Hannity & Colmes, where Colmes was (and still is) liberal. What is the beef? Glenn Beck has always stated he is a regular guy. He beats up Republicans as much as Democrats. He recently lashed out at Republicans for supporting Dede Scozzava, to whose policies he objects. When you get to the news side, where is the bias? Examples would be good. They try to get as many Democrats as Republicans to discuss the issues. So if you want to say they are biased you can clearly do that from the commentary programs but there is no secret. As for the news side I would reject that claim.

    October 27, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  19. RCarney

    For people who are supposed to be leading this country Valerie Jarrett is about as shortsighted and biased as one can get. In the old Soviet Politburo it was called sycophancy; a polite term for attaching your lips to your leader's posterior.
    I was proud of Campbell Brown for once. She posed the queation in a very fair manner and caught Jarrett flatfooted. The Obama administration behaves like a bunch of fifth graders fighting over a sandbox.

    October 27, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  20. Sheila Mckee

    Fox news is bias and Glen Beck and Hannity are a joke.

    October 27, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  21. James

    What anchorman was forced to resign after telling a outright fabrication of a president millitary stint- Dan Rather, Who did he work for- CBS.

    It was last of the of the Clinton administration that led to the current economic mess- many safe guards that were in place were done away with.

    October 27, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  22. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Of course she back-tracked. She didn't want to have to admit that MSNBC is also biased (as well as CNBC and all the other networks). Since the day Obama announced he was running for president, the liberal media has done not one serious story vetting him. Now they have to protect him in office so they don't look stupid. Too late!

    October 27, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  23. Joshua

    If this whole cat-fight between "MSNBC is too far left" and "Fox News is too far right" perpetuates, then I think CNN will position itself to win out in the long run. Sure these cat-fights are good for short-term ratings boosts, but independent-minded viewers will tire of it eventually.

    October 27, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  24. Mark

    Not everybody can give Obama a Noble prize

    October 27, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  25. Deborah H.

    After the WH comments about Fox, i tuned in for the first time. Fox is absolutely a refreshing change. You hear both sides, not just the Democrat side. I feel for once that I am better able to analyze what is going on in government. I wish I had started watching Fox earlier. They are very courageous and independent.

    October 27, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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