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. DJ in TX

    OK CNN, President Obama did NOT say the network was destructive. He said he believed the VIEWPOINT potrayed by Fox was destructive which is the GOP's viewpoint. I wouldn't call them destructive, but Fox is CLEARLY biased in the entire program. Every single show is from the GOP or conservative viewpoint. Except may only Shep as he's just doing the news. But everyone else, Fox & Friends, Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly, Huckabee, etc. are all talking points for the GOP. When you have Sarah Palin telling people to ONLY go to Fox vs face questioning by others, that should tell you something. They are NOT fair and balanced. At least on Morning Joe, the cast is mixed political views, Joe is a former GOP congressman, Buchannan if GOP, Meka is Democrat, Harold Ford is Democrat, etc. They have a mixed group of opinions. Name one show on Fox that has that sort of mixed group, just one........................................I don't like the President going after a TV station, but I get his point.

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

    HAHAHAHAHA. You people are a joke. You have NPR, CNN, MSNBC, Network News, and most major newspapers in America. Not to mention pop culture zines such as Rolling Stone. The POTUS giving an interview to Rolling Stone? He really does think he is a rock star. Here is a hint: The only organization without a far left slant is killing you all in ratings. Maybe you should wake up befor eyou are all out of jobs.

    September 28, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Mike

    Fox has become exactly what Conservatives clamored against-a biased "news" network. For years, conservatives claimed that they didn't have a "voice" in the media because it contained bias. Fox launched on October 7, 2006, and Fox has become a viable, cable network reaching millions of cable viewers. Despite what they tell you, however, Conservatives have always had a very sophisticated means to distribute its message-print and AM radio and more recently through Fox and the internet.

    Although Conservative rail against the "mainstream" media, Fox is part of the "mainstream" media. It's like the pigs at the end of "Animal Farm"; you can't tell the difference between the pigs and the humans they replaced.

    September 28, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. TheTraveler

    Well, I don't see this as anything new. I quit watching and reading Faux News along time ago due to their agenda and the slant they put on news, especially political news. Their news reporting reminds me of those tabloids you find at cash register check outs ...

    But, in all fairness, I don't think ANY of the reporting media can really be trusted anymore. Some are just less offensive in their reporting methods ...

    September 28, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Nameless

    I totally agree with President Obama. Fox News is a virus that needs to be eradicated and its followers are like mindless sheeple who are incpapable of forming thier own opinion. I pull my information from various sources and form my thoughts based on a reasoned evaluation from all sides. I wished my fellow Americans would follow the same method.

    September 28, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. fitzgend

    Umm, CNN is more left than Fox is right... So basically Obama is just whining that someone doesn't agree with him. Look at the polls, lots of people don't agree with you.

    September 28, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Tom

    No it is Obama who is destructive of America along with his Marxist henchmen.

    September 28, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Rahmbo

    It's odd that the White House and President Obama don't say the same about MSNBC...
    Obama's coverage was overwhelmingly supportive in the rest of the media while Fox actually attempted to vet him. The exact opposite happened under Bush... so is Fox right leaning? Sure... but the rest of the media leans left.

    September 28, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Lara Henderson

    This is news? Fox News has ALWAYS been a mouthpiece for the Republican Party. They make no attempt to present anything fair or balanced. If one dislikes our sitting President you will obviously tune in to Fox. What amazes me are the number of Americans who actually tune in to this right wing propaganda!

    September 28, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Big Dave

    Poor guy can't stand the fact that FOX News actually reports the news instead of the one sided pro Democrat message that the rest of the liberal msm pushes. This guy really has no clue what the heck he is doing.....attacking a news organization while the economy is crashing?

    September 28, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Bill V.

    Criticism of Foxnews could be taken more seriously if Mr. Obama pointed out liberal rags like Newsweek, CBS News, AP, MSNBC, and CNN. His comments amount to, in his view, only conservative media outlets are destructive, not the multitude of liberal ones.

    September 28, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Jason

    I'm not a fan of Fox News, but surely the President is smart enough to realize that EVERY news organization has an opinion that it pushes. Fox News was developed as a reaction against what many perceived to be an increasingly liberal mainstream news corps. So will Obama slam news organizations that push his point of view for being biased too? I suspect not.

    September 28, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. mankan

    The Republicant's are destructive to America! They are more interested in winning their political battles and acting in the interests of big business than working for the people of this country. The only thing they understand is greed!

    September 28, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. Mark

    It's hard to find a liberal-liberal!

    September 28, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. camel

    of course a liberal is going to hate a media source they DONT control. They've already got CNN what does Obama have to worry about?

    September 28, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. evelin

    he is a 100% right. In the last two years, I have not heard one positive word about our President from Fox News! Just distortions and flat out lies. Nothing to better this country!

    September 28, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Tom

    Is this guy serious? Does he have a clue? This President is obvioulsy so wrapped up in himself he doesn't even consider the possibilities that his policies and programs might not be working. Every day he shows us more and more that he will do what "he" thinks is right for the country and that we the American public are clueless about everything. Thank God this messiah came down from Heavan to save us. Will this man please resign and go rule some country like Venezuela.

    September 28, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Brian

    Fox News just looks ultra conservative because it resides in a sea of liberalism. It is the one station out of the entire media with a conservative slant. Is MSNBC not destructive by Obama's own definition?

    September 28, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Christopher Campbell

    Fox News is succesful, it is however not fair and balanced. Fox news is an arm of the Republican Party.

    September 28, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. TOM

    I agree that FOX news has more of an agenda to confuse, prosteletize, and influence people rather than report news. I lost all respect for the agency years ago even though I liked several shows. I am an independent thinker (which does not always mean independent voter, or liberal) and I am convinced they believe if they tell enough lies people will believe them – which is statistically valid.

    September 28, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Paul

    Wait! What? The President is claiming a news source is pushing a political agenda? Really? OMG! Somebody alert the press ... err wait!
    At 41, the politcal cynic in me tells me that 1) you will likely never uncover the whole truth behind ANY politically motivated news story and 2) if you want to get as close to the facts as a mere reader of the news can (ie. you have zero access to the sources and/or politicians involved), then you better get your political news from much more than a single source.
    Piublications, be it magazines such as Time and Newsweek, papers such as NY Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, etc. and internet news sites such as CNN and Fox (along with their televised siblings) ALL push an agenda whether it be that of the editors in chief, individual journalists or stories that get altered/killed at the direction of the Whitehouse.
    It's a good thing there's such a thing as freedom of the press or Obama might just outlaw Fox News and any other news outlet that doesn't agree with his point of view.

    September 28, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. pkb

    FOX is an example of what Justice John Roberts and his conservative, activist cohorts on the Supreme Court allowed by stating anyone could contribute anything to political entities in this country. Rupert Murdoch is an Australian who pours hundreds of millions into American politics. It won't end there. Scarey and shameful.

    September 28, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. jmsingram

    Poor Obama is peeved that HIS agenda isn't being pushed or supported. Peeved that Fox isn't liberal and isn't kissing his butt. Boo hoo. No matter the network, it doesn't change the fact that Obama has done absolutely nothing while in office.

    September 28, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    In as much as the more liberal news outlets jumped on bashing George W. Bush when he was president, he wholeheartedly welcomed opposing views. One of the things that made America so successful is the open dialog that helps people understand for themselves so that they could develop their own views. To be honest, I really believe Fox News goes out of it's way to present both sides of political discussions. Many of the regular contributors are liberal just as many of them are concervative. I'm a little surprised Obama doesn't see this but even more I'm surprised he made these statements. But I'm sure with the way things have gone for the things he has tried to do in this administration he is not in a great place right now. It is really a big job for someone with his experience.

    September 28, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. Richard Terrell

    Please tell me it ain't so. You are bringing in to host Eliott Spitzer, the prosecutor who went after and threatened so many while he solicited prostitutes on the side? You have got to be kidding me! Eliott Spitzer, the arrogant narcissist himself will now be a host on CNN. You have really reached the bottom of the barrel with this one. What are you thinking over there? Do you think having a controversial host such as Spitzer will up your ratings? You have to be desperate. FOX must really be in your head for you to do such a ridiculous thing. You had to go out of your way to find this scumbag.

    September 28, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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