Posted by: Rick | Sunday, October 11, 2009

FOX News: Obama’s Big Brush-Off

It’s about time:

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn slammed Fox News in an interview on CNN with Howie Kurtz this morning, saying that Fox News “is more a wing of the Republican Party” than an objective news organization.

“The reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party,” Dunn said.

Go ahead and say it, wingnuts: What about MSNBC?  Well, what about it?  They’re your problem. 

I’ve never bought Fox’s self-serving argument that Obama needs to go on their bogus news network in order to convert the opposition.  It’s a waste of time.  Any television audience that supports the unbelievably dumb Fox and Friends is too far gone for salvation.

I love how Ms. Dunn twists the knife here:

When [Obama] goes on Fox, he understands he’s not going on it really as a news network at this point, he’s going on to debate the opposition.  “Let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is,” Dunn said.  [Emphasis added]

That’ll be good for about a half-dozen hilarious Bill O’Reilly meltdowns.  

Maybe they’re finally getting a clue at the White House.  They’re poking the hornet’s nest, but only the hornets are going to care.  The rest of us can enjoy the show.



  1. Interesting commentary! I understand the move and the point of Obama to exclude Fox News, but I don’t agree that it was the best move.
    It would have showed some cahones for him to hold his own on the network (like he can) in spite of the negativity towards him at the time. The “power move”, in my opinion, would not have been to exclude them altogether but perhaps grant them only 1/3 or 1/4 of the time the other networks received to conduct their interview.

    The only person he could have interviewed with is O’Reilly, who now seems based on his recent talking points to be cozying up a little to Obama and distancing himself from Beck and Hannity, perhaps in the attempt to offer somewhat of a safe harbor to the President and entice him into an interview. I, for one, hope he does it.

  2. O’Reilly could be a reincarnation of Edward R. Murrow, and Obama still shouldn’t go on his show. It’s a waste of precious presidential face time.

    O’Reilly’s audience consists largely of elderly, dyed-the-wool conservatives with a smattering of fire-breathing younger wingnuts. They’re all unpersuadable, especially since Bill will insist on bringing out Dick Morris to spin tall tales about Obama’s “real” motives for going on The Factor.

  3. Those demographics (although I’m sure stated partly tongue-in-cheek), are incorrect. Besides, if it was a true waste of time he wouldn’t have gone on FOX in the first place when he was campaigning. There’s no point going on and listening to someone call you a socialist or a communist, I agree, but going on O’Reilly does make sense politically.

    Party hardliners will never be persuaded by someone from the other party, ever. The point of going on FOX is to show he packs a punch, which unfortunately he hasn’t packed lately (ex: Gitmo, Afghanistan, Health Care Reform, etc.), and to finally get the chance to answer some real questions on where he stands fiscally.

    He’s the most intelligent and verbally skilled President the US has had. He can handle anything O’Reilly throws at him, even Dick Morris. On this one, his media handlers are simply being crybabies.

  4. O’Reilly’s demographics are certainly debatable, although I still believe he’s in danger of becoming Glenn Beck roadkill.

    What’s not debatable is the mindset of the FOX audience. They’re brainwashed.

    And O’Reilly would NEVER agree to a live, unedited interview, which is the only way to avoid being used by FOX. I remember when O’Reilly interviewed Carville and Begala for The Factor. It was so chopped up it was like watching a strobe film.

  5. Glenn Beck roadkill… God, I hope not. Hopefully O’Reilly doesn’t try and compete. One guy using dollhouses to try to get their point across is enough. 🙂

    As for the interview editing, you’re on shaky ground there! Who’s more unedited or less slanted? Olbermann? Matthews? Maddow?

    The only argument that ever really comes back on the interview point is that an interview on FOX might not be “fair” to Obama.

    “Fair”? I mean seriously, CNN (the “real” news network of the two) is now doing “Fact Checks” on SNL skits for crying out loud! Is that how sensitively Obama needs to be treated? I doubt Obama even thinks so. Besides, even if he was treated unfairly on FOX there’d be 100 commentators on other networks anxiously waiting to lick his wounds after he was done the second the interview was over.

    Now the late-nights at NBC and ABC are starting to make jokes about Obama. Do his handlers start having him avoid those networks now, too? Are they writing “stop it, meanie!” notes to Conan in the meantime?

    Carville is cool.

  6. I’m not in the business of defending people I don’t even know personally, but I feel I have to comment on this. I’d hardly call Bill O’Reilly “unfair” to Obama. I watch O’Reilly’s show on a semi-regular basis, and I’d hardly consider myself a fire-breathing younger wingnut, or however his audience was described. In fact, he tends to bend over backwards to be fair to Obama, and his criticisms of the president aren’t personal at all. During the 2004 elections, O’Reilly condemned the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. He hammered the Bush administration a lot during the past eight years. And he had many, many problems with John McCain.

    Obama and Anita Dunn are making a mistake in singling out a media outlet. In 2008, Pew found that Fox’s coverage during the election was the most balanced, by far: It really makes one think that the Obama administration is afraid of Fox, given their rhetoric against it. If Obama and his people are the smartest administration ever, then what’s the big deal with Fox?


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