Open hostilities between WH, FNC


White House Communications Director Anita Dunn told CNN over the weekend that President Barack Obama may well go on Fox News Channel again, but that the White House would view it more as a debate than in interview. For its part, FNC is thrilled that every time WH attacks, its ratings seem to go up.

Dunn said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” “It’s fair to say about Fox, and certainly the way we view it, is that it is a wing of the Republican Party. They are widely viewed as part of the Republican Party. Take their talking points, put them on the air. Take their research, put it on the air. Fox News often operates as either the research arm or communications arm of the Republican Party.”

Fox says that while its commentators are mostly conservative, it takes a professional approach to its straight news programming, which runs from 9AM-4PM and 6PM-8PM weekdays. “The average consumer certainly knows the difference between the A section of the newspaper and the editorial page,” said Fox SVP News Michael Clemente.

He added in a statement, “Instead of governing, the White House continues to be in campaign mode, and Fox News is the target of their attack mentality. Perhaps the energy would be better spent on the critical issues that voters are worried about.”

But the White House insists that Republican bias exists in the news programming as well, and shows up in the stories selected and the way that they are covered.

RBR-TVBR observation: This battle is good for both parties. The Obama administration is using carefully selected members of the media with which to define and measure its opposition – with Rush Limbaugh and Fox’s own Glenn Beck prominently blessed by the administration’s free promotional service. Fox is solidifying its viewer base and is one of the few growth stories in a down economy. We don’t expect either side to back off.

Bottom line: RBR-TVBR loves a good fight but importantly we love it when the facts speak for themselves. In our years of reporting experience we have found listeners, viewers and readers are not stuck on stupid.