I have not followed the White House whining about Fox News very closely but I took notice of this:
White House officials once again advanced its contention that Fox News and its commentators are not journalists, rather a propaganda wing of the Republican Party. During the gaggle, an informal on-the-record but off-camera briefing between the White House press secretary and some members of the media, Robert Gibbs and ABC’s Jake Tapper had this conversation:
Tapper: It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one –
Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.
Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say –
Gibbs: ABC –
Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?
Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.
Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” — why is that appropriate for the White House to say?
Gibbs: That’s our opinion.
Read the whole report. The White House and the left-leaning press is unhappy. Moveon.org wants Dems to stay off Fox, a kind of boycott.
I have trouble getting worked up over this given the savaging that Sarah Palin took during the campaign, especially from MSNBC. As noted in this blog report, an unnamed White House contact said the purpose of the FOX war is to get journalists to think twice about what to cover.
“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.”
Yeah, that’s going to work. When an administration actively attempts to control the press coverage in this manner, they expose their real objective. FOX News will probably work a little harder to find the stories which the other networks ignore. And perhaps, one hopes, the real journalists in the other organizations will wake up.
Additional thoughts: I should have paired this story with the one about the unnamed White House advisor telling the liberal left to take off their pajamas and get dressed. Message to right or left who question the big boys: How’s your cat?
UPDATE: David Axelrod tells the New York Times Thursday:
“This is a discussion that probably had to be had about their approach to things,” Mr. Axelrod said. “Our concern is other media not follow their lead.”