David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel hit the Sunday talk show circuit and continued to redefine Fox News as a political organization. Axelrod said that FNC isn’t really a news organization, and that they are pushing a point of view. Emanuel said that the network is so much a news organization, but a perspective. The White House is not going pretend that FNC is fair and balanced.
Here is the Axelrod video:
On ABC’s This Week, Axelrod expanded on the comments of White House Communications Director Anita Dunn about Fox News, “The only argument that Anita was making is that they are not really a news organization, if you watch even its not even their commentators, but a lot of their news program. It’s really not news, it’s pushing a point of view and the bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours, ought not to treat them that way. And we’re not going to treat them that way, we’re going to appear on their shows and participate, but understanding that they represent a point of view.”
Here is the Emanuel video:
Over on CNN’s State of the Union, Rahm Emanuel made similar statements about FNC, “Well, no, it’s not so much a conflict with FOX News. But unlike — I suppose, the way to look at it and the way we — the president looks at it and we look at it, is, it is not a news organization so much as it has a perspective. And that’s a different take. And more importantly, does not have — the CNNs and others in the world basically be led and following FOX, as if that — what they’re trying to do is a legitimate news organization in the sense of both sides and a sense of value (ph) opinion.”
While FNC itself is playing up these statements as an attack on their network, a more rational way to look at this is that the Obama administration is treating Fox News like what they are. FNC is an organization that puts its ideology ahead of journalism. The loudest voices on FNC do come from the right, so it is difficult for even their most ardent fans to claim that the network is balanced.
On the other side of the coin is MSNBC, which does not feature a single conservative voice in primetime. During the Bush presidency, the White House was very friendly with Fox News, and gave them more access than MSNBC. The difference between MSNBC and FNC is that Fox News has taken the next step and gotten involved in promoting Republican causes like the tea parties and the 9/12 protest.
The Obama administration isn’t attacking Fox News as it is treating it differently because of its political activities. The Obama White House has decided that FNC is going to be treated like a political organization. The White House isn’t trying to put Fox News out of business, but have decided that they aren’t going to play the game and pretend that FNC is “fair and balanced.”