November 10th, 2009
12:07 PM ET
13 years ago

Dunn leaving White House

Washington (CNN) - White House Communication Director Anita Dunn – who recently drew headlines for her criticism of Fox News – will be leaving her post at the end of November, administration officials confirmed Tuesday.

Dunn, who took the post on a temporary basis, had originally been slated to leave the job at the end of the summer, but stayed on at President Obama's request. She will be replaced by Deputy White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, and retain a consulting role.

After months spent largely behind the scenes, Dunn burst into public view when she charged that Fox News was acting as an arm of the Republican Party. She later drew controversy after Fox host Glenn Beck broadcast footage of a comment in which she appeared to speak favorably about former communist Chinese leader Mao Tse-Tung. Watch: Dunn goes on the offensive vs Fox.

Pfeiffer, who headed the Obama communication shop during the 2008 presidential campaign, is a Democratic political veteran who has also worked for former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Sen. Evan Bayh as well as Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.

Dunn, a seasoned political operative, assumed the role earlier this year when then-Communications Director Ellen Moran left the post for a role at the Commerce Department.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Ken

    She is pointing out a fact, it isnt up to debate. Fox is the media arm of the Republican Party. Large amount of their programming is opinions, not news. Even their news is flawed, as some of their news references their own network claims as news.

    That is like me making up some radical statement, putting it on wikipedia, and then referencing it as a truth in some argument.

    I dont think she should have been pressured like that, take the popularity hit for standing up for the right thing.

    November 10, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Mark C

    LOL, the right-wing nutsacks are out in force today. Keep it up, nutsacks. Your blah blah blah wears thin after a while.

    November 10, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Jack

    Good bye Anita and good riddance. One more Obama pick that proves he isn't capable of running the country. I really enjoyed her attempt at explaining why we don't have enough H1N1 vaccine; yet we are suppose to believe that they can run the health insurance program? It's a shame that she can't take the rest of the zoo with her. I would be thrilled to see the White House Press Secretary be unemployed as well.

    November 10, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Jim

    democrats alias Socialist party,spending welfare side with criminal crook lier and illegal to get voting fraud
    Hmmm...Blackwater, Halliburton, Terri Sciavo...seems like the GOP is more of a commie party

    November 10, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Zandy

    GEECEE you so quick to judge but you didn't and can't cite any examples to back up what you say. Just like the "Major news sources" Fact check please.

    November 10, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Ron

    We keep comparing this economic downturn with its abysmally high unemployment figures to 1983! Let us remember who was the President in 1983!. The beloved Ronnie Reagan. What did he EVER
    really do???? He wanted to reduce Social Security payments, break the unions, reduce hourly wages, etc, etc, make the rich richer and poor poorer as usual. He presided over the recession of 1981-1983 and another recession in 1986-1988 before he finally left office – thank God! The woman mentioned in this article, who "apparently" thought Mao Tse Tung may have been a good thing for China, actually probably was right! Now we are COMMUNIST China's biggest debtor and we, of course, have a huge balance of trade with
    them. What hypocrites Americans are when it comes to dealing with COMMUNISM. I guess as long as they sell cheaper sweaters, we are all for them. Nice.

    November 10, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. pravin

    Obama should have been smart enough to "release her" months ago. It is "self-defeating" to attack a major news media which has such a global reach, more so if it is owned by Rupert Murdoch. Wonder what Pfeiffer, whose emails asking for money and support I (and countless others) receive frequently, will say when Obama makes his next biggest mistake and confirms what CBS has reported just yesterday, that the Pres has "decided" to give General McC most of what he wants.. confirming to all his supporters, as well as his detractors, that "all that deliberation" was merely a Charade.Just another empty suit who believes that a good speech, like snake oil, solves all problems..

    November 10, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Chris

    How about both parties kind of suck right now... How about for once we just have someone do whats right not what, the parties say... Just whats right or everyone...

    November 10, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. sgurdog

    Regressives can't take it when someone puts a mirror in their face. Good job Anita, you took one for the team because so many liberals in the past have been too afraid to call them out.

    Ah, the regressive GOP loves to say liberals have no balls but they sure as hell can't take a punch!

    November 10, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Amy

    Can't anyone share their opinion without sinking to childish name calling? We live in a country where we can still share our own thoughts freely and yet we HATE that someone may not completely agree with us.

    November 10, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. max sewell

    Hope the door hit her, where the Good LORD split her!!!

    November 10, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Jon

    All of you who spew things like "Democrats = Socialists" or "liberal media bias" or "FOX News is pat of the Republican Party" or any of that other let's-draw-a-line-between-us, partisan swill should really sit down, shut up and open your eyes and ears.
    Stop repeating what your favortie talk-radio personalities are saying. Rush and Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs and Rachel Maddow are not supposed to be thinking for you. Use your brains. Stop fighting each other. Talking smack on a comment board does nothing to solve any of the problems we all still have.
    Despite our beliefs, we're all still Americans. Once we all can work together for the good of the nation it will become the greatest nation in the world again. Right now, not so much.

    November 10, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Gilbert Parra

    to another Obama socialist, now that shes leaving Obama should give her a one a way ticket to china to be near her "BOY" Mao!!!!!!

    November 10, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Mitch

    I no longer care about anything anymore because the realm of public discourse if full of retards. I give up. The idiots and the reactionaries have won. Enjoy the super-awesome country you're making.

    November 10, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Shelly

    another one leaves, or gets kicked out. By next year, Obama will have replaced everyone....appparently he realizes he makes bad choices after the fact

    November 10, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. rocky gapian

    Talk about failed picks in an administration. Does anyone need to be reminded of the failures and lies of the Bush presidency and the crooks within it. Hopefully, most will remember the true illegitimacy of the Bush years.

    November 10, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. Norman

    Good news for Dunn.

    Ahmadinejad is looking for a communications director and I can't think of anyone more qualified. Hell, I'll even chip in on the airfare.

    November 10, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. Karl in SLC

    The followers (reminds me of Jim Jones) of Fox "news" Comedy Cult and the AM Radio purveyors of Hate are a blight on our country. You are an embarrassment and you are the laughing stocks of the world.

    You have no idea of what 95% of the terms you spout off even mean. Ronnie Rayguns war on education really ensnared about 20% of our population.

    November 10, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    Government should live in continual fear of its citizens and a free press. The founding fathers knew what they were doing.

    November 10, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. objective

    Fox IS an un-official extension of the GOP. We all know it.

    Its their right just like it is Dunns right to call them out about it.

    Fox blatantly distorts the truth and it the same breath call themselves "fair and balanced"... that's another subject ..

    No one censored Fox or even tried to. This woman was brave enough to state the obvious . Fox is slanted toward the right.......Is that incorrect?

    All of you you die-hard reps found a forum to vent but, and are off on some tangent like the WH tried to censor Fox.

    Everyone that is is painting Dunn in a bad light say Fox has the right to free speech the same people should stop throwing rocks....
    FYI Dunn has the right too.

    Looks like Fox can dish it but they cannot take it.

    I hope more people like Dunn take the same stance.

    November 10, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Nuwan Samaranayake

    One thing she is right about it that Fox is not a news network. It is a mouthpiece to ultraconservative republican idiologists of this country, disguised as a news network. I have given up watching it years back. I switched to CNN to see some realistic unbaised news. Fox news obviously can spread misinformation and they will continue to do so. That is the part of the freedom of speech. There will be audiance to watch that crap idiology that has sunken this country. I only hope that the minds of future generations will not be poisoned by those propaganda carried out by it.

    November 10, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Snairad

    Faux News must have found this article on CNN and ran with it. I find these comments hilarious. People love talking about things without filtering their emotions. I guess they don't care that this makes them sound ignorant. Whatever happened to the non-corporate non-political news source? I blame corporate news sources with a political agenda for making the average "Joe" angry and ignorant. If one wants to really get a good perspective on what's happening in the world don't watch FOX or CNBC news, don’t listen to Beck or Limbaugh. Instead read BBC and PBS news sources or listen to NPR. You’ll have a less biased perspective, and better understanding of the world and the state of the union. I'll give CNN credit they are at least trying to be less biased and more globally aware.

    November 10, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Donald in CA

    Dunn gets thrown under the bus for speaking the truth. The obama administration seem to be afraid of the right wing in this country. Right or wrong the republicans stick together and thats why nothing changes for the better in this country.

    November 10, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. Laughing Liberal

    So, if Fox News is always right... why are you all here on CNN? Oh. Right. Hypocrites and liemongering. No no, carry on with your mindless drivel. See, I can *read* which would be why I don't watch Fox News. That and because I like facts. Fox took "journalistic neutrality" and said "It's outdated. We want our opinions on all the time." And the crazy right wingers agree. I can't wait for there to be an aggressively leftist news network. Certainly would make for a refreshing change of pace. Of course, I believe in "objectivity." Go look the word up. Might do you some good.

    November 10, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. geecee

    No one is trying to censure Fox. They are just being called out for the lies they spew each and every day. They say the most outrageous things and dumb people think it must be a fact if Fox News said it!! Oh yeah, really credible news channel there!! They employ liars on their programs to further incite the angry, hate-filled morons who listen to this channel and to Limpbag too on a daily basis. Just can't get enough of the hate, huh folks? Glad to feed your head with all the poison you are fed. Hope it makes you feel better to hate your country so much you want to see our President fail.

    November 10, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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