The White House vs. Fox News

It’s every liberal’s worst nightmare – a network where talking heads take certain grassroots movements (Birthers, Tea Party, etc.) to heart, exaggerating their influence in the current American political discourse to start an unnecessary and dangerous discussion rooted in racial and religious intolerance … I mean – don’t show your biases, Matt – some liberals feel the network leans more right than other network. It’s Fox News, and the Obama administration, until recently, waged war on America’s most-watched cable news network.

On Nov. 11, the White House confirmed that it would grant Fox News’ Major Garrett an interview with President Obama after weeks of holding out on the network. The Huffington Post reports, “The Obama administration’s battle against Fox News has been two-pronged: members of the administration have characterized Fox News as not a legitimate news network while also regularly denying the network interviews with key figures. When Obama did the Sunday morning talk show rounds, for instance, he skipped out on ‘Fox News Sunday’ with Chris Wallace.”

Cable news networks have been the targets of politicians for years, but there doesn’t seem to be a large effect by calling these networks out. During the Bush White House, and still today, the time-old “liberal media” argument has been made against CNN and MSNBC, yet both networks still remain strong.

Since this quarrel has stopped, this doesn’t seem to be a continuing theme of Obama’s term as president, but this was a strange digression in the first year of his presidency. Was it appropriate?

So, the question remains: by isolating Fox News, does this weaken the Fox News’ legitimacy or does it delegitimize the Obama White House? Is it really worth it to pick fights with certain networks, denying them interviews and publically calling their journalistic practices unethical, or should politicians try to get their message out no matter the media outlet?

Game on!


2 responses to “The White House vs. Fox News

  1. I definitely think that isolating and labeling networks is counterproductive for politicians. I think it can make them appear as though they have something to hide or they are scared to converse with pundits whose views are different from theirs.

    I am most impressed by candidates that are willing to talk with anyone. I think it shows that they are willing to stand behind their political positions and values no matter who is questioning them. Furthermore, I think networks are often blamed for politicians’ mistakes. If they misspeak, they blame the host of the show or the pundit they’re conversing with rather than taking responsibility for their comments.

    I think the media and society should be less focused on the political slants of networks. Exposing ourselves to different angles is the best way to see all sides of an issue, in my opinion. Thus, I think it is best for politicians to cover all their bases and not shy away from specific networks and for media consumers to do the same and expose themselves to different network options to see all of the angles.

  2. Matt Vasilogambros

    I agree. I think it’s counterproductive to ignore a network completely. You’re actually giving the network more leverage and more publicity by publicly calling them out.

    I cringed when I found about the Obama administration started doing this. Instead of allowing more talking heads distort you opinions, directly share them on the network. It makes sense to me.

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