Mr. Obama is going to appear on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. And Meet the Press on NBC. And Face the Nation on CBS. In between, he is going to sit down for interviews on CNN and Univision. (Fox News didn’t make the cut).
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."
Many in the liberal media have weighed in on whether this critcism of Fox is valid. For example in Newsweek, Jacob Weisberg writes on Why Fox News Is Un-American.
There is no need to get bogged down in this phony debate, which itself constitutes an abuse of the fair-mindedness of the rest of the media. One glance at Fox's Web site or five minutes' random viewing of the channel at any hour of the day demonstrates its all-pervasive slant. The lefty documentary Outfoxed spent a lot of time mustering evidence that Fox managers order reporters to take the Republican side. But after 13 years under Roger Ailes, Fox employees skew news right as instinctively as fish swim.
Rather than in any way maturing, Fox has in recent months become more boisterous and demagogic. Fox sponsored as much as it covered the anti-Obama "tea parties" this summer. Its "fact checking" about the president's health-care proposal is provided by Karl Rove. And weepy Glenn Beck has begun to exhibit a Strangelovean concern about government invading our bloodstream by vaccinating people for swine flu. With this misinformation campaign, Fox stands to become the first network to actively try to kill its viewers.
This sponsoring of organized protests against the Obama administration is the cornerstone of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s argument on Why Fox News Isn't News.
So in essence, we have two questions. Are the criticisms of Fox true? and What should the Obama administration do about Fox?
The argument that Fox discredits itself as a serious news organization by itself organizing protest groups is a creditable one. And the Obama administration thus far is fighting back by boycotting and asking others to ignore Fox News.
But some of this strategy is backfiring. Recently, the White House made Executive Compensation Czar Kenneth Feinberg available for interviewing by all of the networks except Fox. The other networks then came to the defense of Fox by saying that they would not agree to interview Feinberg if Fox was excluded. The Obama administration gave in and allowed Fox in. So in effect, Fox News was made into a sympathetic figure by these tactics.