September 28th, 2010
02:07 PM ET
12 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. DaveM

    Fox doesn't present news, rather, it gives its rabid viewers editorial fodder that validates their own narrow warped views. Fox has increased the volatile polarization of our nation and made incivility acceptable. It has no redeeming qualities that I can discern.

    September 28, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Dina

    Ironic that all the self-proclaimed right-wing "patriots" take their wildly distorted news as gospel from an Australian. Even more ironic that rich Republicans have convinced their not-so-fortunate followers that they're acting in their best interest, as they fleece them- appealing to the base instincts of fear and loathing. Some patriots. Self-interest and party before country every time.

    September 28, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Dave

    Let's see now.......Fox News is destructive, but MSNBC or NBC news is okay?
    Oh wait. That one disagrees with my views, but the other one agrees with me. Now I see it.

    September 28, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. dfact

    Shouldn't we proud of a or any news organization that is able to speak. I don't always agree with fox but I don't always agree with cnn. what the president is proposing is shutting the mouth of the objectionable. The real sadness is that by calling out one news media he call out the others. By saying he disagrees with one means he agreess with the others so who is in whoms hip pocket. It is kinda scarey when you think about his plateform of reaching across the aisle. Just because you want a bill passed doesn't mean all want it passed. So do you just throw your arms in the air and say they won't play fair so they must be the devil. come on this is the big leagues if you don't have the stomach for the ride don't get on.

    September 28, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. KC_Opie

    The president says Fox News pushes "a point of view that I disagree with." Evidently that's what makes it destructive to America? Perhaps he should look at his own policies. Having taken over an recessionary economy which began a recovery within months of his taking office (which means he can take no credit for it whatsoever) he begins implementing policies which have stifled the recovery, made a double dip recession a very real concern and mortgaged the economic future of the country for no real benefit to anyone but his political cronies.

    And how's that statement for tolerance? If he disagrees with a position it is therefore a destructive position. The left is getting more and more desperate and its true nature is displayed more clearly. While railing on others to be tolerant, leftists are without doubt among the most intolerant human beings on the planet.

    September 28, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. Mark

    Keep up the good work Fox! At least there is ONE news organization that stands up to Obama's lies and deception. He can say what he wants, but Fox News is number 1 in the ratings and there is nothing he or any of the lefties can do about it.

    September 28, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Larry

    That's it! No more Fox for me. I'm going to get my news from MSNBC. No political spin there. Give me a break.

    September 28, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. rawk

    Yep there you go. The difference between Libs and Conservatives. Libs have nearly every single other news outlet whether TV, internet or news print to spout their believes and Conservatives have Fox News. Libs believe in free speech so long as they agree with the speech. Therefore if Libs could pull a Cesar Chavez and shut down any outlet or person who dissagrees with them just like a good communist does, they would do it in a heartbeat.

    September 28, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. rktread

    What is really destructive, Barry, is your complete lack of understanding about the economy. Why is Fox news destructive? Because they won't carry your jock-strap like other "Media" outlets? I can hardly wait for this dumb@&& to wake up on November 3rd wondering why all the people have turned on him. We want to be destructive to your agenda, Barry, and that is constructive for America.

    September 28, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. lucybefree

    WOW.............. I continure to find myself speachless everytime he opens his mouth... bash fox news because they have conservative views that are not his own and then..... and then... bash his OWN party and lecture them like children for not have the passion that HE believes they should have for the upcoming elections (different story on MSN)............. anyone else seeing a patern here?

    September 28, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Jontra

    FOX echos the views of the American people. That is why it is by far the most watched cable news outlet. Obama should listen instead of criticize.

    September 28, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Mike in NC

    Just what I would expect from Hugo Chavez. Mr Obama would love to lead a banana republic and have total control of all media and messages. That way, he wouldn't need to sell us his ideas. Most of the established media would do all his dirty work. Ooopps, they already do!! BO stinks...Viva de revolution!

    September 28, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. colowest

    Faux News is NOT a "news organization." News organizations don't openly promote political parties, don't allow their main talking heads to campaign for politicians, and don't employ prominent politicians as pundits, requiring them to sign contracts that forbid them to be interviewed by anyone outside the network.

    The Obama Administration should kick Faux out of the White House News corps.

    September 28, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. bobmc2

    Fox is number #1 news outlet. It point's out this presidents agenda, regardless of what the populace wants!

    September 28, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Tom

    Pathetic. Obviously this is a man who doesn't realize that the misplaced hero worship is over. I guess anyone who doesn't agree with his liberal agenda is "destructive." Funny, he doesn't seem to mind that MSNBC caters to liberals.

    Can't wait until Election Day... and I really can't wait until Election Day 2012. Obama is a one-termer, no question about it.

    September 28, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    Good for the President. faux news gives half assed information. They distort the truth at every chance they get. insanity had a piecde on the President abouty "raiising taxes" and he comes on with that smirk on his face . . . well we told you so. Only problem is that is what taken out of context (no surprise there) and they didn't shows the rest of the speech. They just pick and choose what they want their idiot audience to hear so that they can spread their lies and hate.
    The FCC shopuld come down hard on murdoch. Is he in this country legally? I wonder if he ever gave up his Australian citizenship. He had made billions thanks fo a small group of people who don't listen to anyone other than faux news.

    September 28, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Alan

    Obama is exactly right. Fox News has the latest news, if anything important is going on, but basically they are a Right Wing propaganda outlet. Most of their air-time programming is devoted to slamming the Democrats. This is especially true during the evening hours, when most adults are home watching TV. With Sanity, Beck, Greta what's her name, and Bill O'Reilly, are you are going to hear on FOX News in the evening hours are anti-Obama slams. I seldom watch FOX News, and when I do, I usually don't have to listen over 5 minutes before I hear some Right-Wing slanted bozo on there telling us how bad Obama is.

    September 28, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. rufus

    Obama should abolish the traditional press and have a White House media information center that will tell us all we need to know.

    September 28, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Sheldon

    I live in Finland and the way we see it from over here is that Obama has been trying to fix the mess that was left for him by The Bush Admin. Still, for some "insane" reasoning by the Repubs, he is being "blamed" for the way things are today in the US. How on earth can Americans be so gullible is beyond us over here in Europe? Maybe its because we aren't faced with a daily barrage of repeated messages from sources with their own agendas. Maybe this is why Fox News is viewed in this way. We don't get Fox News over here, but from most of the print media we do receive, it seems that Fox News never has a good thing to say about Dems. Isn't that being biased? Isn't the "news" supposed to be impartial? Wake up America!

    September 28, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. kklinkz

    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.
    OBAMA any one that disagrees with you is NOW LABLED DESTRUCTIVE. FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION GUARANTEES FREE SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. Also no other news organization (ABC,CNN, NBC, CBS) will analyze your administration personnel, laws, or speeches to their full extent. Naturally you disagree with them when they show your UNION supporters drinking and taking dope on their jobs now that Chrysler and GM are GOVERNMENT MOTORS!!

    September 28, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Dave Templeton

    From the first week during the Obama Administration, he has lied, deceived and cheated the American people but the media, liberals, progressives, socialists and Congress have enabled him to do so. Obama knows nothing about schools, nutrition, health, manufacturing, car industries, banks, Wall Street or the U.S. military. Obama is a cruel hoax groomed and directed by the Bilderberg shadow government. This is the same shadow government that brought us Clinton and both Bushes. He has employed many of the same tax cheats from these previous failed administrations. It is very disturbing to see well meaning American voters fooled by the cooperating media and high tech propaganda and outright lies!

    September 28, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Tony C

    Of course Obama thinks Fox is destructive.Any one who doesn't support his far left liberal agenda is destructive. Obama is an incompetent and ineffective leader. And my opinion is not from a right winger. I voted for Clinton's 2nd term and for Ann Richards for governor in Texas as well as select other Democrats in the past.

    September 28, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Adam

    Good thing democrats have EVERY OTHER news outlet at their disposal...

    September 28, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. P-mack

    I think that it is very unprofessional and petty for the POTUS to make a comment about any major news outlet. By trying to discredit one organization he is in effect endorsing other organizations. Although he is entitled to his opinion, he, as the president, should be be above this type of mud-slinging and treat the position with the dignity it deserves. Maybe this is a product of him being a young president.

    September 28, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    So essentially what Obama is saying is that more than half the population of this country is destructive unto itself...Foxnews and all the other successful conservative thinking programs that pull in larger audiences than their liberal counterparts are against HIS policies therefore destructive...baloney, he just needs to get a clue that his socialistic state was tried 50 years ago and it was called Russia, it fell apart...we don't want his growth...period.

    September 28, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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