Democrats David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel argue that their decision to try freezing out Fox News is fine since Fox isn't a news organization
"I’m not concerned," Axelrod said on ABC's "This Week" when George Stephanopoulos asked about the back-and-forth between the White House and Fox News, founded by Rupert Murdoch.
"Mr. Murdoch has a talent for making money, and I understand that their programming is geared toward making money. The only argument [White House communications director] Anita [Dunn] was making is that they’re not really a news station if you watch even — it’s not just their commentators, but a lot of their news programming.
"It’s really not news — it’s pushing a point of view. And the bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way, and we’re not going to treat them that way. We’re going to appear on their shows. We’re going to participate but understanding that they represent a point of view.”
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Fox "is not a news organization so much as it has a perspective."
"It’s not so much a conflict with Fox News," Emanuel told John King. "I suppose the way to look at it and the way … the president looks at it, we look at it is: It’s not a news organization so much as it has a perspective. And that’s a different take. And more importantly, is not have the CNNs and the others in the world basically be led in following Fox, as if what they’re trying to do is a legitimate news organization …
On "Fox News Sunday," anchor Chris Wallace said the White House had declined to provide a guest.
A useful analysis of the claims made by the administration this weekend are here.
UPDATE: More attacks on Fox News by Obama Administration.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Tuesday pointed to two top-rated opinion shows on Fox News as the reason why the Obama administration has castigated the network as an illegitimate news organization.
Gibbs weighed in on the controversy after several top White House advisers have gone on other channels to criticize Fox News' coverage of the administration, dismiss the network as the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and urge other news organizations not to treat Fox News as a legitimate news station.
Gibbs said White House officials "render (that) opinion based on some their coverage and the fairness of that coverage."
But asked how Fox News was different from other news organizations, Gibbs mentioned the channel's 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows, in an explicit reference to "Beck" and "Hannity" -- even though those two shows represent opinion programming.
Informed that those hours are for opinion programming, Gibbs said: "That is our opinion."
Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news for Fox News, issued a statement Tuesday defending the company.
"Hundreds of journalists come to work each day at Fox News all deeply committed to their craft. It's disappointing that the White House would be so dismissive of their fine work and continue their vengeful war against a news organization," he said.
The White House also appeared to stand by its effort to urge other networks to isolate and alienate the channel. Gibbs said Tuesday that it's up to the White House Correspondents Association to decide whether Fox News should continue to be part of the White House pool which covers President Obama. . . .
Transcript of White House Press Briefing is available here.
The most bizarre statement by the Obama people is the concern that other media will follow Fox's lead. It appears that they are more concerned about Fox actually doing its job and investigating issues.