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. Rebecca Rainwater

    Of course Fox News is Republican! But there are so many other cable news outlets that are on Obama's side, I don't see what the big deal is. It's only fair to present both sides. I myself like and enjoy Fox News because I share some of the same viewpoints. I wouldn't expect a President to bash a news network b/c they have different opinions. Everyone has an opinion, but saying what he said in a magazine article is a low blow and he shouldn't have done it. After all, Fox News IS the most important thing going on in the country today...Economic issues are sooo overated......

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

    I think they call it free speech and another point of view.

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

    Fox News.......The Republican-Tea Party News channel.

    September 28, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Matt Philly

    As an independent, who voted for Obama, this stuff drives me crazy! ALL the other news stations clearly have a left-of-center bias. Fox has a right-of-center bias but by no means more than CNN or any other and the left screams non-stop about it. Independent studies have said Fox has less right bias than the other stations have left, in fact and I wouldn't be surprised if it's true.
    Look, people have different perspectives!! It doesn't mean that they're dumb, evil, or beholden to money... it just means you disagree. I think this is my last straw with the left for a few elections. I can't stand this stuff.

    September 28, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Diogenes

    Fox is trying to protect America from the Libocrats destruction of America. I'm not surprised Nobama is upset with anything that impedes his destruction of America

    September 28, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. PHAN

    obama.. really needs every news source to have liberal/democrat bias... it would be the only way to save his presidency..

    September 28, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Dragonfire

    I love Fox news!!! Obozo, you need to start packing!!!!

    September 28, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. objectiveguy

    Wait a minute...what about free speech? Obama is fine with a mosque being built in the shadow of the WTC site, despite its offensiveness to the majority of Americans, in the name of free speech/freedom of expression. But when FOX News wants to present viewpoints that are in opposition to his, Obama is suddenly not a proponent of free speech? What about the highly biased news coverage that most of the mainstream media provided to Obama's benefit during his campaign and the early stages of his presidency? Didn't hear him complaining about biased news coverage then! As time goes on, I think he is going to have more of the news media than just FOX jumping on the anti-Obama bandwagon. Good luck trying to silence all of them.

    September 28, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. marvin

    President Obama could'nt have said the truth anymore clearly about fox news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right on!!!!

    September 28, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Poor Richard

    And yet the president doesn't mention MSNBC. Of course, that organization supports his agenda.

    Obama needs to go.

    September 28, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. TruthHurts

    It's true, but I dont need the president to tell me that. I watch foxnews a lot. I watch msnbc. I watch cnn. I NEVER listen to what msnbc or foxnews say INDIVIDUALLY, but if all three news outlets say the same thing, it usually is true.

    September 28, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. patnamm

    The President should be more blunt and say that "Rupert Murdoch the Australian immigrant who was driven away from his home of Australia and England is trying to DESTORY our country, and does not understand our values. Rupert Murdoch could not get away with doing whatever he wanted in Australia and England, so he is trying to do that here in America. WE ARE NOT GOING TO BUY IT!"
    Noe Mr. Presdient, that's your speech. It is your turn to define Fox and their owner.

    September 28, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Tom

    Obama's problem with Fox News is that the agency refuses to conform to the mostly all Democratic News agencys out there. The fact is just about every news paper, radio station, and TV News companies are all Democratic and push only the Democratic agenda. God forbid there be a News agency that pushes the Republican view and tells the other side of the story. How many more times are we to see Obama get mad and throw a tempertantrum when everyone does not agree with or see his personal vision. Without companies like Fox News there would be no debates on issues of this country. Maybe we should get rid of the Democratic and Republican parties all together since the only way they ever act as one is by tearing this Country apart....

    September 28, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. yosemiteDave

    No wonder Obama is loosing popularity quickly because of his stupid actions like this. Foxnews, CNN, almost all major news outlets have their obvious biases, but for him to single out a news organization is plain amateurish. Grow up Obama. You're begining to wear on us.

    September 28, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Steven Minix

    Fox news is not "news" and i think even their most avid viewers know that deep down inside. Fox is the ultimate guilty pleasure for right leaning Americans and thus that is how it dominates in the ratings. Its like back in ancient Rome when the public would gather at their ancient stadium and cheer loudly as men would slaughter eachother, this form of entertainment has always been popular in human society in one way or another. These days its more toned down but still the same concept, you have shows like "The worlds most shocking videos" and "jerry springer" and "ultimate fighting" and yes "fox news". Fox news is all about doing what it knows it has to do to excite and scare god fearing conservative Americans and those being scared tune in day after day because they enjoy being scared and fox news instills that in them that if they do not tune in one day that could be the day that the socialist democrats take over the world and you might just miss it.

    September 28, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. rollinac

    I'm sorry but I cannot believe the President made this statement. The absence of free media basically allows those in charge to do whatever they want and push information they want you to hear (see China, USSR etc). I'm neither a Republican or a Democrat; I want to know the news and I don't watch Keith Olberman or listen to Limbaugh. In my opinion the media tends to lean left and has given Obama much more of a free pass than Bush ever got. Yet I never heard Bush state the New York Times was destructive to America. Absolutely Absurd.

    September 28, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Don

    Well "Duh".

    Of course Fox News is biased. Badly so. They exist as a commercial enterprise to promote one set of views masquerading as news. Although I suspect those views are financially motivated, not politically.

    September 28, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Just say no OR have a moratorium

    Is Fox news dangerous....or is it really Rupert Murdoch who's dangerous and a threat to our democracy?

    September 28, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Chuck

    The president is right. Faux News has noting to offer but poor judgement we need for the cable news to be banned!!!!

    September 28, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. tcaros

    Fox News is run by Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch is an australian born jew who loved GW Bush because he allowed foreign ownership of our news outlets.

    We need to pass laws barring foreign owners like Murdoch. We need to change the tide in this type of "false news reporting."

    September 28, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Mike

    Hard to disagree with. Problem is if you only watch Fox news, you don't realize how slanted they can be. Watch other sources. "The Daily Show" is very adept at finding and proving the bias on Fox while admitting they too have a bias. The Daily Show is intenetionally funny though, unlike Beck who is unintentionally funny.

    September 28, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. Mike

    What Fox is doing should be illegal! Anyone who watches them and actually thinks they're "Fair and balanced" has zero credibility and probably voted for Bush TWICE

    September 28, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Jon

    This guy is a propaganda machine that has been propped up by a liberal media. Now American can see that he is way over his head and unable to run this country. He should resign for the sake of this country and leave a a little dignity.

    September 28, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Erik H.

    Thanks for stating the obvious, Mr. Obama.

    I have to agree with this last part of the story: "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."" When you start attacking the messenger, no matter who they are, it clearly shows a void in yourself. Focus on the issues, and FOX News will end up on the defensive and having to justify themselves. Instead, the White House is clearly playing defense and the offensive team (as much as I despise them) is looking pretty strong.

    September 28, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Bill

    I am sick and tired of this guy going after everyone and everything that doesn't agrees with him. Fox Network is only one out of a dozen other news network. He's calling out Fox and let alone the likes of CNN, MSNBC, and CBS? Fox news may be pushing social conservatives point of views and fiscal constraints, but they certainly don't go after Democrats personally. However, I have seen MSNBC and CBS go after Republican politicians personnally. Goes out and call the Tea Party racists, dumb, ill informed and other nasty names. Where is his "fairness" in calling out these other networks?

    September 28, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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