The White House isn’t having anybody talk on the record, but an anonymous official did tell one of the inside-the-Beltway newsers that there is more to the administration’s aggressive attitude towards Fox News Channel than its reporting.
Politico was told that a big part of the White House plan is to try to discourage other news organizations from following Fox when it decides to go in-depth on a given story.
The ACORN scandals were offered as a case in point – the administration said that the stories were covered “breathlessly” by Fox, and blown out of proportion, but that just about every other major news outlet felt like it too had to be on the story.
Politico pointed out that when one member of the journalistic media is attacked, the rest will often circle the wagons and come to its defense, a reaction that it pointed out is oddly lacking this time.
Politico suggested that some in the media think that there is some truth to the White House charges (which is itself interesting, coming from Politico, which is thought by some media watchers to have at least a slight conservative tilt). It also speculated that other media are too put off by the success FNC is enjoying to expend much effort in coming to its aid.
Politico did note that FNC has at least a few reporters that the administration considers to be fair, including Major Garrett. But still the WH attacks come, and FNC personalities seem to be enjoying the opportunity to complain about it.
RBR-TVBR observation: It is a fact that conservative viewers of cable news gravitate to Fox, just as liberal viewers gravitate to MSNBC. All the negative attention heaped on FNC by the administration is actually positive publicity among its core viewers. So Fox should send Barack Obama a very nice assortment of fine chocolates and politely ask him to keep the criticism flowing.