Until now, members of the Obama administration have been the ones tossing brickbats at Fox News Channel. Now Obama himself made comments in answer to questions from NBC News reporter Savannah Guthrie.
Obama almost seemed reluctant to respond to a question about the exchange of fire between the White House and FNC. But he forged ahead, saying, “I think that understandably since you’re in the news business, this is something that you’re very interested in. I think 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.”
When Guthrie pressed the issue, so he added, “What our advisers have simply said is that we are going to take media as it comes, 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, then that’s another. But it’s not something I’m losing a lot of sleep over.”
RBR-TVBR observation: This issue simply refuses to go away. It has generated a great amount of controversy, among the punditocracy and among our own readers.
We would note that the White House has not disputed FNC’s right to say what it wishes. And it’s certainly not the first administration to go after the press. What’s odd is that WH has been unusually candid in saying what it believes.
It has certainly made for an entertaining and unusual battle, with no apparent end in sight.
There would be cause for concern if the WH were to go down the path of Richard Nixon, who is believed to have had the FCC look into broadcast television licenses held by the Washington Post, for obvious reasons. That would be way over the top. But there is no evidence whatsoever that the Obama administration is considering anything remotely similar to that. And when it gets down to it, Nixon did not go there either.
Related report on this issue of Obama vs Media
Obama’s team, The Chicago Destroyers