September 28th, 2010
02:07 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama: Fox News is 'destructive' to America

(CNN) – President Obama is pulling no punches when it comes to Fox News, declaring the cable news outlet to be "destructive to [America's] long-term growth."

In a more than 8,000-word interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Obama compared the cable news channel to papers owned by William Randolph Hearst at the turn of the 20th century that unabashedly pushed the media titan's own political views.

"You had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition – it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view," Obama told the magazine.

Officials in the Obama White House have long made Fox News a punching bag, launching a full blown offensive last year when aides declared the network to be "opinion journalism masquerading as news." Then-White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said the cable outlet "operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party," and top aide Valerie Jarret called Fox "clearly biased."

But the new comments from Obama constitute the president's most direct attack yet on the network owned by business mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Fox News pushes "a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world," Obama said.

"But as an economic enterprise, it's been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number one concern is, it's that Fox is very successful."

Fox has yet to respond to the president. But during the administration offensive against the network last year, network spokesman Michael Clemente slammed the White House for continuing "to declare war on a news organization instead of focusing on the critical issues that Americans are concerned about."

Filed under: Fox News • President Obama
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Steve

    Go get 'em, Obama. Fox "news' is one big dirty lie to keep Fred & Barney frightened, mis-directed , uninformed and shooting themselves in the foot voting for the dishonest right wing. Please find a way to put the liars at Fox in jail. Murdock, you should be ashamed and you will be remembered as badly as Hearst. You're on the "honor" roll of Bush/Cheney era criminals.

    September 28, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. RAY

    What Obama fails to realize is that temper-tantrums like these, directed against fox, will only stir up republican passions even more. I am conservative but I never watch fox or visit their news website...I get most of my news from CNN. But I do think its a very dangerous thing when our president starts singling out news organizations. He and his aides got in trouble doing this last year and all the major news organizations came to foxs defense. Be careful Mr. Obama. These little-boy tantrums are quite unbecoming in a president.

    September 28, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Tom

    And MSNBC is not??

    September 28, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Tony1954

    Anthing or anyone that Obama considers an enemy is probably good for America. In this case, if it weren't for Fox getting the truth out there to the public, especially the Independant voters, we would be facing 6 more years of destructive policies against the American people. The true recovery of this country begins in November when his socialist and income redistribution policies come to an end.

    September 28, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Lol, CNN is quick to post an article that slams another news agency. And then they make it to where all of the comments are monitored by using this 'other' comment box than the other articles. LOL!

    September 28, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Mike

    Kudos!!! After a long time, the President is 100% RIGHT. Fox is a prime example of misusing freedom in this country and playing with the innocent minds.

    September 28, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Name

    Chavez says the same thing about his opposition media

    September 28, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. stevegee

    If anyone is destructive to America, it is you, Obama. Your radical leftist agenda goes against everything America stands for, aka freedom and liberty. But you wouldn't understand that, since much of your formative years were spent in Kenya. And your birth father was a Marxist who believed the rich stole from the poor, and that it was within a government's right to tax the rich at 100%. You are a travesty Obama - you fooled millions of voters with your "hope and change" snake oil, and then once in office proceeded to turn our great country into a Socialist nightmare. We The People have awakened, and we reject you and your ideology. That is why on November 2nd, we will destroy your Democrat majority in Congress, and replace it with renewed conservative representation - filled with Tea Partiers, Republicans, all good, common sense folks who love the United States of America.

    September 28, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Realistic

    Fox is not a news network and it will never be. Americans need to realize that the network is owned by someone who is less interested in whats good for America. Republicans are tied to fox and must obey what fox orders to and fox pundits are controlled by Ruppert. Ruppert uses fox to determine what policy he wants for America and how much he can make even if it hurts America. And the pundits are puppets to outside interest which also comes from a arab prince. The republicans no longer represent the American people but only represent moguls who work to undermine our policies.

    September 28, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. M Snow

    Somewhere on the way to the coliseum, Mr. Murdoch and FOX forgot that the fourth estate's responsibility is to report the news not to make the news... but I'm sure he's laughing his arse off all the way to the bank.

    September 28, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Larry

    Delete/replace Obama in this article with Chavez or Putin and see if it reads about the same....

    September 28, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. The truth

    And CNN isn't trying to push their own liberal agenda?? Pfftt

    September 28, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. obama-fan

    You tell them Mr. President! Fox news is a JOKE! lol

    September 28, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Mike

    He claims fox is bias and it is just like his news org. MSNBC, If you cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

    September 28, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. d risch

    OK, and I call CNN destructive....holds about the same weight as obama's comment....ZERO!!

    September 28, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. tobeornottobe

    When he can't manage a his job, his team, his country, he decides to devote his time to managing perception. I've seen these kind of people in upper management in business. Their profile is always the same, they contribute little, they are unable to achieve any tangible results, so the focus thier efforts on managing their career instead of managing the business.
    Obama should turn his critisim toward himself! He he could actually accomplish something tangible, something the american people understand and support, maybe his image problems would take care of himself.
    As far as I can tell, 2 years down the road, Obama couldn't organize a beer-bash in a brewery by himself. The man is completely inept!

    September 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. Terry in Iowa

    It takes little effort to fact check the stories propagated by Fox News and to find them full bias speculation and opinion used as fact, blatant lies, gross exaggerations and little or no real fact.

    It’s truly sad that they’ve been able to convince so many that only they are fair and balanced, while they demonize any other source that attempts to keep them fair and balanced. The mainstream media, who have each other and industry watchdogs to police them to ensure fact-based reporting, has been portrayed by the Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda machine to be biased, though the evidence, if examined rationally and objectively, clearly shows the opposite.

    Fear, hate and ignorance can be exploited to motivate even normally rational people to believe the “big” lies and Fox has on par with Hitler’s Third Reich in the use of propaganda to promote hate. These are evil people and clearly Un-American.

    September 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. Jay

    When the public opposes democrats then the democrats must find a scape goat – America is catching on and are rejecting this class and race warfare. CNN you are a failing network hence you pile on fox.

    September 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Proud Journalism Student

    "Fox News pushes "a point of view that I disagree with." – Just because you don't agree, doesn't mean it is "destructive". That is the beauty of the first amendment and freedom of the press.

    "You had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints" -Isn't that the point of journalism.. To promote viewpoints that aren't always the popular views. To give alternative thoughts a forum for discussion.

    Have you forgotten historical manuscripts such as the Federalist papers. Those were deemed "destructive" and published in newspapers. Consequently, they led to the ratification of the Constitution.

    The great thing about America is our freedoms. One of which is the freedom of the press... Mr. Obama, please don't criticize people for practicing their first amendment rights.

    September 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Grace MOORE

    let us focus on resolutions to stop wall street corruption. Bank regulators also are corrupt. Lots to clean out before citizens believe any news channel.

    September 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Chris

    When is our President going to wake up and declare Fox news a PAC and have the FCC take them off the air. Fox news is not news it is right wing fear monger propaganda!

    September 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Fernando

    Funny, I don't see Obama complaining about MSNBC and its liberal bias. I don't watch Fox News either. Does he forget how so many media outlets bashed on Bush for so many years? Frankly, media outlets tend to always pick on the POTUS. It's nothing new.

    September 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. striker

    Obama is just a cry baby that is pissed because his policies are are destroying the nation with astronomical debt and there is actually a news network that will view that opinion. I don't watch Fox news nor CNN. I get different points of view off CNN/Fox news mobile. Sorry Obama, but you are the biggest mistakes voters that voted for you have ever made for this country. Just my opinion.

    September 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. Ryan

    He believes they are destructive because they are reporting facts on his agenda, instead of the message they want sent out to the American public. The administration wants every reporter to be like NBC who reports information that is based on opinion and not fact. FOX reports factual data on items like healthcare and the economy. They have asked the White House over and over to prove them wrong and they haven't been able to do it. They are "destructive" to his agenda, but not to America as a whole. We need people to question "historical" legislation if it is going to change the way America operates. Every piece of legislation needs to be looked at under a microscope because laws are never repealed, they only add more. Legislators are not in the business of getting rid of laws they are in the business of creating them and business is good.

    September 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  25. Albert

    But Michael Clemente, we're concerned with your organization spreading lies and hatred to the masses who in turn believe what you say and turn it into a ballot stuffing frenzy. You are the problem. YOU need to be focused on. Wake up.

    September 28, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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