White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was on CNN’s Reliable Sources today, where he took aim squarely at Fox News and their coverage of Obama’s nuclear polices. Gibbs said that instead of being a news organization, Fox News is, “feeding an audience that they know wants to see and hear a certain side of that argument.” It looks like the Obama/Fox News war is on again.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
Robert Gibbs was making a point to host Howard Kurtz about the slant in Fox News coverage of Obama when he said, “Well, here’s a good example. The president signed the START Treaty last week. And there was a lot of debate about whether us reducing our nuclear warheads was making this country less safe. And then the anchor disappeared, and for several seconds there was a 1960s video footage of a nuclear test and a mushroom cloud. Now what you didn’t see was, you didn’t see in any of that, where the last time we are familiar with seeing pictures of START treaties being signed, are that of Ronald Reagan, or when the president makes a pledge to end nuclear weapons on our planet, it mimics what, or what Reagan. So I think in that case, you are, and you’ve mentioned their increase in cable numbers. They’re feeding an audience that they know wants to see and hear a certain side of that argument.”
What Gibbs referred to is exactly what the defenders of Fox News don’t get, a legitimate news organization is not supposed to filter all of their coverage through a political ideology. Fox News attaches their pro-Republican ideology to everything that gets on the air there. They are propagandists and not a news organization because they place ideology and helping the GOP cause ahead of providing factual information to their viewers.
Since the media is composed of human beings, there will always be some bias there, but the difference between Fox News and everyone else is that FNC has institutionalized and promoted bias. Their mission is to put out a biased message to help the Republican Party. This is why it is necessary for those they attack, like the White House, to respond publicly. Since Obama has been elected, Fox News has moved from being a media network with bias to abandonment of their media role for complete political activity and advocacy. Fox News doesn’t behave like a news organization, so Gibbs and the White House are correct in not treating them as if they are.