Obama vs. Fox

The administration has provoked a new round of discussion about the role and ideological basis for Fox News.  It was interesting to see that administration officials noticed comments in the New York Times public editor column, suggesting that the Times was slow to respond to topics dominating Fox coverage, causing them to ramp up their pitch that Fox is not a legitimate news organization and therefore not worthy of being emulated.

“We simply decided to stop abiding by the fiction, which is aided and abetted by the mainstream press, that Fox is a traditional news organization,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the deputy White House communications director. Later that week, White House officials said, they noticed a column by Clark Hoyt, the public editor of The Times, in which Jill Abramson, one of the paper’s two managing editors, described her newsroom’s “insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio.” The Washington Post’s executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, had already expressed similar concerns about his newsroom.  White House officials said comments like those had focused them on a need to make their case that Fox had an ideological bent undercutting its legitimacy as a news organization.fn-header

Reporters followed their own professional instincts, which made some uncomfortable excluding Fox journalists covering the same beats. The tug of professionalism pulls against the partisan news organizational strategy.  This is new territory for journalism, and the Obama administration has brought the issue to a head by ramping up the rhetoric.  What remains unexamined is the basic claim:  that the opinion-based programs (Beck, O’Reilly, etc.) and the news-oriented programs are driven by the same political agenda.  In the early days, they certainly were.  Now the line still seems blurred, as I’ve posted elsewhere on this site.

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2 Responses to “Obama vs. Fox”

  1. Nicholas Huggins Says:

    Here is a great example of what some people think of Fox news. The people who watch fox news are Loyal loyal loyal loyal!

  2. James Says:

    Little late on this, but http://mediamatters.org/columns/200911030004

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