Fox News vs. Obama

The administration has made a strategic choice to treat Fox as a political, not journalistic, opponent.

“We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” said Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, in a telephone interview on Sunday. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

Fox has used various ways to describe what it does on the news network, first as a claimed “fair and balanced” news product, then as an appropriate counter-weight to the so-called “liberal media,” and now attempting to differentiate the news and “opinion” portions of the broadcast day (as a newspaper tries to claim objectivity by contrasting its news to the editorial section). Claiming, however, that the news side is not also colored by a conservative view is dubious given the selection of stories and promotion of events such as the Freedom Rallies.  Nevertheless, some Fox news anchors, such as Shepherd Smith, have been seen recently though to challenge the conservative orthodoxy.  Whether that’s a strategic effort to appear more detached or a real journalistic impulse is less clear.

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