Fox News has been actively playing the victim regarding harsh criticism from the White House recently. As you may have seen here, White House communications director, Anita Dunn, called Fox News “opinion journalism” and a “wing of the Republican Party.” Previously the White House blog listed falsehoods aired by Fox News regarding the Olympics.
Here is one example, from Sean Hannity:
HANNITY: We have a White House that has now set up a Web site specifically to attack the FOX News Channel because we ask tough questions and they do not like that. They’re not used to that with the fawning news media.
So — I mean is this an enemies list? It seems like it to me. I can’t imagine a Republican doing this without, you know, a media outcry.
Note that the White House has not actually “set up a Web site specifically to attack the FOX News Channel,” but rather a blog wherein they’ve addressed Fox News twice (see above). If there is a web site that matches Hannity’s description, we’d probably know about it… It appears to be, instead, another in a long line of falsehoods.
Enter the hypocrisy of Fox News.
Last year, when the Bush administration attacked the credibility of NBC News, and even sent a letter to the President of NBC News questioning deceptive editing and their news vs. opinion, Fox News did not come to NBC’s defense. In fact, they openly questioned why the White House would “bother.”
Example 1 with Laura Ingraham, sitting in for Bill O’Reilly on The O’Reilly Factor:
INGRAHAM: Now Karl, why would the White House agree to do an interview with Richard Engel? I mean, this is the guy who, you know, really didn’t want to give the surge any credit and NBC, an organization, obviously that’s called this a civil war. Now it’s kind of not gone back and changed his view on that. We’re in a recession, etcetera, etcetera. I mean, why bother really at this point? [The O'Reilly Factor, 5/19/09]
Example 2 with Ed Gillespie, then-White House counselor, who sent the scathing letter to NBC:
E.D. HILL: You know, I’m sure you know from watching this program that, you know, Bill has, you know, has been reporting for more than a year on a pattern suggesting that NBC News basically panders to the left and is, in essence, in the pocket for Barack Obama. Why go on a venue like that to begin with?
GILLESPIE: Go on a venue like MSNBC?
GILLESPIE: I don’t know. It’s — you know, the – you know, there are elements there who are clearly advocates for a candidate or a point of view, not even commentaries or commentators really or analysts. So I don’t know why he would. [The O'Reilly Factor, 5/22/08]
So, they can dish it out, but can’t take it. Take, as another example, Glenn Beck and Gillespie, mentioned above, talking about the Democrats allegedly “trying to blackball Fox” in regards to debates in 2008.
BECK: While their [Fox News's] journalists clearly or their commentators are clearly conservative, nobody in Washington is trying to — the Democrats are trying to blackball Fox by not going on any debates, et cetera, et cetera. You don’t see Republicans doing that to NBC, do you?
GILLESPIE: No, and sometimes I question why… It is beyond me frankly.
Keep in mind that Gillespie was White House counselor while Bush was President and accused NBC of deceptive editing. It was that same White House that was caught taking an ABC broadcast, editing it to paint a positive picture of political progress in Iraq, and redistributing it. Don’t forget that the Bush administration granted Fox News unprecedented access. Where was the outrage from Hannity, Beck, or anyone else at Fox News when that was going on?
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