10/20/2009

White House continues to try to "delegitimize" Fox News

So the ACORN scandal wasn't a news story? Well, from the way even many liberal Democrats in Congress responded, it seems that a lot of people thought that there was news here. The WH apparently disagrees. Too bad that the media isn't reacting more strongly.

A White House attempt to delegitimize Fox News – which in past times would have drawn howls of censorship from the press corps – has instead been greeted by a collective shrug.

That’s true even though the motivations of the White House are clear: Fire up a liberal base disillusioned with Obama by attacking the hated Fox. Try to keep a critical news outlet off-balance. Raise doubts about future Fox stories.

But most of all, get other journalists to think twice before following the network’s stories in their own coverage.

"We're doing what we think is important to make sure news is covered as fairly as possible," a White House official told POLITICO, noting how the recent ACORN scandal story started because Fox covered it “breathlessly for weeks on end.”

“And then you had a couple days of breast-beating from The Washington Post and The New York Times about whether or not they were fast enough on the ACORN story,” the official said. “And it's like: Wait a second, guys. Let's make sure that we keep perspective on what are the most important stories, and what's being driven by a network that has a perspective. Being able to make that point has been important.”

To some media observers, it’s almost the definition of a “chilling effect” – a governmental attempt to steer reporters away from negative coverage – but the White House press corps has barely uttered a word of complaint. . . .


UPDATE: President Obama added more fuel to the fire.

President Obama spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday about his administration's portrayal of Fox News as an illegitimate news organization -- only to say he's not "losing sleep" over the controversy.

Obama, in an interview with NBC, at first attempted to deflect a question about the White House's criticism of Fox News, saying "the American people are a lot more interested in what we're doing to create jobs or how we're handling the situation in Afghanistan."

The interviewer then pressed, noting that Obama's advisers have targeted the network openly.

"I think that what our advisers simply said is, is that we are going to take media as it comes," Obama said. "And if media is operating, basically, as a talk radio format, then that's one thing. And if it's operating as a news outlet than that's another. But it's not something I'm losing a lot of sleep over."

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.

And on Tuesday, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said White House officials "render (that) opinion based on some their coverage and the fairness of that coverage." . . . .


Further UPDATE: Obama couldn't let this go on Wednesday.

President Obama spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday about his administration's portrayal of Fox News as an illegitimate news organization -- only to say he's not "losing sleep" over the controversy.

Obama, in an interview with NBC, at first attempted to deflect a question about the White House's criticism of Fox News, saying "the American people are a lot more interested in what we're doing to create jobs or how we're handling the situation in Afghanistan."

The interviewer then pressed, noting that Obama's advisers have targeted the network openly.

"I think that what our advisers simply said is, is that we are going to take media as it comes," Obama said. "And if media is operating, basically, as a talk radio format, then that's one thing. And if it's operating as a news outlet than that's another. But it's not something I'm losing a lot of sleep over."

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. . . .

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1 Comments:

Blogger OldSouth said...

Do I smell fear in the air?

This reminds me of the days of Nixon, Haldeman and Erlichman, only today's gang makes them look like amateurs!

This could get interesting!

10/20/2009 10:54 PM  

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