Obama to FOX: You’re GOP

Friday, October 16, 2009


Last Sunday, White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, appearing on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” called the Fox News Channel “the communications arm of the Republican Party.” “Reliable Sources” host Howard Kurtz says the Obama Administration is picking the wrong fight.

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Comments [32]

Jonathan Stringer from Boston

I too listen regularly to NPR and watch Fox News and am tired of the relentless and undeserved attacks on Fox News by OTM . What is the journalistic mission of OTM ? Is it to defend first amendment rights or only the rights of liberal leaning news organizations? If the former , why isn't it defending Fox News rather than parroting the Obama line? Doesn't OTM object to any administration defining which news organizations are deemed worthy and those that are not ?

Nov. 01 2009 08:11 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven

P.S. Did you see, Minot, N.D. was in the news again, lately?

Oct. 23 2009 11:16 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven

See, Mr. Ryan, here's where Fox viewers diverge from others. You claim Obama has backed away while others heard him confirm his "minions''' criticisms in his interview with Savanah Guthrie, without whatever spin Fox reporting put on it.

Hi, Jack. Somehow saving the world's economy (at least temporarily) from imploding, with the cooperation (I almost hate to admit it) of George W., over the last year doesn't qualify as an accomplishment in your view! Ignoring facts does not make them go away. Hijack someone else's reality, not ours.

Sort of reminds me of Joe Scarborough pretending that Obama administration push back against Cheney's "dithering" complaint is "unprecedented" when Cheney's administration went do far as to out a CIA agent to push back against her truth-telling, diplomat husband.

Oct. 23 2009 11:01 AM
frank ryan


Thanks for your comments.

I too listen to both NPR (last 30 years) and Fox. And I neither agree nor disagree with everything on either network.

Contrary to the ferverent hope of so many liberals, including the President, Fox is a legitimate source of news and commentary. Notice how Obama has started to back away from the Fox bashing of his minions? He doesn't really want to change his opinionm, but he has heard a round of contrary opinions from the other media (except NPR) that he has to include Fox.

Thanks for sharing your hope and opinions.

Oct. 22 2009 08:45 PM
Amy from Arizona

I just wanted to say that I am someone who watches Fox News (though I certainly do not like every personality on it) and someone who listens to NPR. And, I often enjoy both, though I certainly never agree wholeheartedly with either.

On Sunday, it was not one of those days of enjoyment, though, because of Ms. Blackstone's insults towards Fox News and her giving Mr. Kurtz a hard time for even hinting that there might be good journalists at Fox. Saying that she was "sorry" that Mr. Kurtz had to watch Fox because of his job, and saying that Fox "reflexively reflected the views of the most far right flank of the Republican Party" certainly revealed her bias, and it was disappointing to hear. I have come to expect better from NPR.

Also, on a personal level, there seems to be an underlying scorn from certain people that if you watch Fox at all, you are probably ignorant, rude, and stupid. I wish it would stop because I try not to assume that every radical liberal is elitist, has no common sense, and is arrogant.

I hope we can learn to have conversations and even be friends with those who disagree vehemently with one another. I wish I could go to Starbucks with Ms. Gladstone and chat about our beliefs, ideologies, and differences.

Here's hoping that will happen someday. . .

P.S. I do not like ego in any form, and there is plenty on Fox. Just so I am consistent, I do not care for Glenn Beck or his manner, but there are many on Fox who are good journalists and present both sides of the story.

Oct. 22 2009 06:13 PM
Mike from Las Vegas

Notice how this past week the right has already expanded the Obama versus Fox conflict into a full-blown "Obama enemies list" And as usual there is an infuriating lack of context in the MSM to help intelligent viewers make a comparison/contrast with Nixon's media foes. Pres. Nixon took umbrage at CBS News, the Washington Post and New York Times journalists’ criticisms of his policies. With Fox News, we don't get cogent policy criticism but a never-ending stream of ridiculous ad hominem attacks questioning Obama’s citizenship, his religion, his motives, his relationship with white people, his associations (whatever that means), ad nauseam. If Fox wants to cry foul that the White House is trying to suppress the news, the first thing they must do is become a legitimate news organization; instead of being a 24/7 video version of the National Inquirer interspersed with GOP talking points.

Oct. 22 2009 02:14 PM
Good Riddance from Chicago

"Because FOX News has reflexively reflected the views of the most far right flank of the Republican Party, reliably."

I think only someone reflexively reflectiving the views of the most far left flank of the Democratic Party could say this. From where I sit, Fox is fair and balanced; but that says as much about me as Fox.

I'm not sure whe the point of the Obama administration's hitjob on Fox is. Now they're attacking insurance companies for making profits. Meanwhile financial fatcats filling their campaign coffers are left untouched. I am no longer proud to be an American.

Oct. 21 2009 11:18 PM
Lee Majella from Chicago

The guy who runs Fox News ran the Republican National Committee, why would anyone expect Roger Ailes to be either fair or balanced?
Howard Kurtz is an idiot and a liar. Anyone who reads his columns or watches him on CNN would understand this completely. Why OTM would ever invite his 'insight' on any issue is lamentable. The MSM has trashed their credibility and all you have to do listen to people like Kurtz defending Faux News to understand how this will end.

Oct. 21 2009 02:03 PM
jack from Chicago

You can't blame the administration for trying to divert the public's attention. Failure after failure as well as broken promises are causing support for the administration to evaporate. They are desperate to get their base back.

Unemployment rising, deficits exploding and so much of the status quo inequities continuing; this administration has nothing good to show for its 9 months and counting.

It might help if OTM, a tool of the left wing of the Democratic Party, pointed that out.

Oct. 20 2009 10:36 PM
David C Rowe from United States

I don't disagree that Hannity, Beck and O'Reilly are journalists. Neither are Maddow, Olbermann or Scarborough.

But what OTM is missing is that this White House does not like the Chamber of Commerce, so they go after them. They don't like insurance companies that (gasp) try to make a profit, and now they don't like Fox. The rest of the media should join arms with Fox and say, "answer the hard questions!" Sould we let them only speak to the people they make weep with joy upon inuaguration, or who get a pre-orgasmic thrill up their leg? What happened to being the president of all the people, including those who watch Fox?

Oct. 19 2009 10:29 PM

The people who criticize OTM do not understand that this is a show that points to bias. Of course, the people at OTM are also not free of political opinion. However, it is obvious in my opinion, that Fox News does not even try to be unbiased. They drive a political agenda and they have viewers who like simple answers to the world's complex issues. They help organize tea protests but do not cover much on gay rights protests. (Watch the Daily Show!)

Oct. 19 2009 02:28 PM
Clark S. from Maplewood, NJ

The comment above about the false equivalency is the key. Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Riely... they are NOT journalists. The white house is correct in that Fox "News" is not a journalistic endeavor.

Oct. 19 2009 01:21 PM
Matt W. from Arlington, Virginia

What a chilling effect on journalism. OTM should be ashamed for supporting this attack on the journalistic enterprise.

Oct. 18 2009 10:41 PM
Susan Wood from Rochester, MI

Brooke let Howard Kurtz off too easily. She should have pointed out that Fox not only functions as the media arm of the Republican party, but that it has long since crossed the line from commentary to advocacy by both creating and hyping the "tea party" protests. Fox constantly advertised these events, encouraged their viewers to get involved in them, gave them information about how they could do so, and then covered them as though they really were significant grass-roots actions. Please! As for the 9-12 circus, that was the personal brain-child of Glenn Beck, again massively hyped by his network. These were made-for-TV events, specifically, made by Fox for Fox TV.

Oct. 18 2009 09:27 PM
Grace Sheffield

I am not surprised that I didn't agree with anything Howard Kurtz said as I usually don't.
He mentioned that MSNBC is a leftist, branch of the Democratic Party...my words ...and no different than Fox.
He didn't point out that Bush never went on Olbermann's show and his administration was quite cozy with Fox, especially Cheney.
He also said cable news has a disproportional impact on news, citing both the Acorn and Van Johnson stories.
Both of those stories were driven by complimentary positions by all the right wing radio hosts, not just by Beck et al.
PLEASE interview someone else next time. Maybe someone from F.A.I.R.. and leave Kurtz and his ilk at CNN.

Oct. 18 2009 08:36 PM
Arman Thurgood

Howard Kurtz is a political operative posing as a disinterested observer (a "Potemkin media critic" in the words of genuine media critic Bob Somerby), and his pervasive bias is easily documentable if anyone cared to make the effort. His particular function in the media is to act as a kind of Maxwell's demon, apparently standing in the middle but imparting a rightward push to every story that comes past him -- while ignoring stories that are not amenable to such a push. His fraudulent reputation for impartiality is kept alive because "legitimate" programs such as On The Media keep stamping it with their seal of approval.

P.S. Remember when Mr. Kurtz declared a prominent Democrat to be mentally unbalanced a few years ago because he committed the bizarre crime of criticizing the Bush Administration? Perhaps a reader can refresh me on the details.

Oct. 18 2009 06:04 PM
Andrew M. from Santa Rosa, CA

Your worst show segment ever. You, along with Howard Kurtz, drew the false equivalency of Fox, documented to structure its programming to advance the RW agenda, with MSNBC, a mainstream outlet with normal news standards carrying a lopsided line up of liberal talk show hosts. They aren't equivalent, which any real reporter understands. Fox daily structures its news format out of talking points and it isn't even journalism, MSNBC doesn't do that, but because it has some liberals on it you can't tell the difference. It's the same as calling Rush Limbaugh, who slurs, lies and fabricates with bias, the same as Keith Olbermann, the latter of whom sticks to the facts with a bias. Quite a difference. Your usual spewing of conventional DC wisdom is more than disappointing. It's so lame and quite nauseating. Your show has jumped the shark.

Oct. 18 2009 05:29 PM
frank ryan

At least we won't have to listen to Anita Dunn and her admiration for Chairman Mao soon.

Her statements about how she turns to his writings for motivation is very chilling, in light of the millions he killed.

But should we expect more from Obama's czars and advisors, since so many are extreme communists (Dunn, Jones, Sunstein, Lloyd identified as such so far).

Funny how Brooke never touched on that. Perhaps she didn't want to show Dunn for the person she really is? Or, perhaps Brooke is sympathetic to Dunn's point of view?

Oct. 18 2009 04:07 PM
Pam from South Central New Mexico

Howard Kurtz' ACORN example of a journalistic triumph should have been challenged. Elsewhere, Bernie Sanders said, "we did a little bit of research, and my staff discovered that the three largest defense contractors—and we focused on defense because we’re in the middle of the defense appropriations bill—the three largest defense contractors—Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman and Boeing—who have received over the years hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars, not the $53 million that ACORN had received, but hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars, these three companies alone, just these three, have been involved in 109 instances of misconduct. They had paid $2.9 billion to the government for fines or settlements. So, this was not a two-minute videotape recording a stupid, absurd conversation. This is where courts of law or settlements have taken place, where these people have pled guilty or acknowledged misdeeds and paid $2.9 billion since 1995.

Now, I asked myself, gee, the Congress defunded ACORN, how much attention has been paid to this systemic fraud that goes on year after year after year? And after awhile, it’s not hard to figure out that for these large corporations, this is a way of doing business. This is not an accident; this is part of the business model.

Why weren't these comparisons made. As Brooke pointed out it is the placement and repetition in "news" programing, not bomb throwing on air personalities that make Fox and other media outlets what they are and what and why they are suspect.

Oct. 18 2009 12:39 PM
Michael Atkinson from New Hampshire

Again, and again, and again, Mr. Kurtz conveniently leaves out that former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough gets three hours each weekday on MSNBC.

He must leave out this fact in order to support his unsupportable accusation that MSNBC is as heavily tilted to the left as FOX is tilted to the right.

He's disingenuous ~ media critic ~ well, not a very good one.

Oct. 18 2009 11:05 AM
Constructive Feedback from Atlanta, GA

Two points. Its not that Brooke's comments about Fox were accusatory (they were). The bigger issue is that Ms Gladstone (sp?) would NEVER have been heard accusing MSNBC as being against the Bush Administration. This is because she was not doubt PLEASED with their stance against Bush because this is where her views were positioned as well.

Go back to the closing comments of Brooke and imagine in any way she would have said the same thing 3 years ago with the variables altered accordingly.


Did you guys MISS the fact that so called JOURNALISTS began to syndicate words that were attributed to Rush Limbaugh but they never bothered to SOURCE the words?

Is the Internet now an acceptable source? When claims are repeated on hundreds of web sites then they become TRUE?

WHAT is the process by why you do your story assignments? You all were clearly out to lunch in overlooking the Fabrication of "Slavery Quotes" that were attributed to Limbaugh that forced MSNBC and CNN to backpedal at weeks end.

We all know that you guys are biased - just don't be so deliberate about it.

Oct. 18 2009 10:46 AM
Robert from NYC

True Steve, Kurtz is FAR from even handed as too CNN. Howard Kurtz is a typical CNNer who likes to throw out arguments to stir up controversy, which could be a good thing, but the kind of controversy that Kurtz and CNN throw out is usually superficial, advertiser-getting dreck that is not worth much in the world of real values to most people. CNN is Time Warner is money.

Oct. 18 2009 10:32 AM
Jeff Robbins from California

...everybody who pays real attention to THIS stuff...

Oct. 18 2009 06:34 AM
Jeff Robbins from California

Its about time. Past time in fact to start telling it like it is. Everybody who pays real attention to his stuff knows media bias is a fact of life on both sides. But, I think it is clear that Fox is among those who have taken the thing to a new and dangerous level. Communications Director Dunn's comments embody the change I voted for. Short months ago, this bunch at Fox were calling good folks unamerican and worse for not wearing flag pins and supporting Pres.Bush. "Fair and Balanced" is not a slogan. Its a disclaimer.

Oct. 18 2009 06:12 AM
Brad from PA

It is frustrating that even a discussion of a basic fact--that Fox News's primary mission is to legitamize and promote corporate conservatism--manages to affirm other incorrect premises: that the other mainstream media networks are liberal (particularly MSNBC), and that Howard Kurtz is an honest journalist. Any honest and thorough look at the behaviors of our news outlets over the last 15 years would make quite clear that far right views have dominated the coverage, "balanced" by journalists making centrist points which are labeled liberal in comparison. Almost no strong left views make it onto television. Good grief, look at the lineups for the Sunday shows.

Oct. 18 2009 01:10 AM
good riddance from Chicago

OTM treads on familiar territory once again. So boring. Having Brooke do the Fox bashing instead of the labored heavy-breathing Garfield doesn't make it any more interesting.

That said, this administration hasn't won a fight yet, even though they've taken so many pages from the previous administration. Fox's ratings are great and they remain the most trusted news source in America. Sure the leftwing nutjobs don't like them, but they've got every other spot on the dial pandering to them with mindless tripe.

Nice try OTM, but another missed opportunity.

Oct. 17 2009 10:42 PM

The only time I watch cluster faux is when I want to laugh at how dumb and stupid the ignorant loonies on the right are to buy their junk. Howard Kurtz is insane to ask the White House not to take on cluster faux. The way to show up the brain dead morons at faux is to keep calling them out on their hypocrisy. Call them out when they lie. We know they lie all the time. Faux ratings does not mean a thing when those who are watching are the same retards day in day out. Obama should not go on faux. What would he achieve by going there? Who has not seen the video of the faux producer egging on the racist tea baggers? CLUSTER FAUX!! When the democrats lose the next elections, and I hope they do lose the next elections, it will be because they keep accommodating the moronic republicans instead of doing what we sent them in to do. Stupid democrats will get the republicans back in power. A pox on both your houses!!

Oct. 17 2009 04:30 PM

Brooke gave a nominal "spanking" to Fox while preserving its undeserved classification as a news outlet. For the Fox network shows to be called news, they would have to base any dispensation of information on facts that can be quoted, cited and otherwise verified. If anyone wants fact-based commentary, Fox is NOT the place to go - and biased commentary is what they do - NOT news.

Oct. 17 2009 03:54 PM
Steve from Austin, TX

Howard Kurtz is far from even-handed. He constantly avoids covering his own conflict of interest and carried Bush's water in the past.

K. Perkins has most of this correct. The other two people above sound more like shills from the Teabagger Party.

Fox's "ratings" are also BS. It has 1.2 million because its watchers sit through multiple hours at a time while CNN's Headline News has a high turnover every 15 minutes (which is what Nielsen measures) because its watchers get through one or two cycles, then changes the channel.

Lastly, as a member of the Liberal camp, I don't waste my time with MSNBC or CNN, they're not anything close to Liberal.

Oct. 17 2009 11:41 AM
K Perkins

Brook's comments can hardly be disputed. Even Howard Kurtz, who is very even-handed, acknowledged that Fox will "drive" a particular story that is critical of Democrats by giving it excessive attention. How can anyone dispute that Fox reflects GOP talking points? Roger Ailes, who created much of the Republican campaign media strategies throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, created and runs the Fox News programming. However, what is even worse is the fact that Fox misinforms its viewers. For example, in 2004, a careful survey found that belief that Iraq had been involved in 9/11 or had a nuclear weapons program, two demonstrably false assertions, was only 20% among those getting news from PBS, about 40% among those listening to the broadcast networks (NBC, CBS, ABC), and 60% among those who mostly listened to Fox. So, Fox is tops in making its audience stupid, or in attracting stupid viewers. Either way, it doesn't reflect well on Fox as a legitimate "news" organization. Of course, it doesn't really want to be that anyway, so I'm sure Fox isn't bothered by frequently being wrong; it just wants viewers.

Oct. 17 2009 10:23 AM
frank ryan

Brooke, Brooke, Brooke,

Could you possibly have been more partisan against Fox? Is Steve Inskeep coaching you again on advanced bashing Fox, GOP, and Conservatives?

Lynnette Grise in her comment above is completely correct in her observations.

If you cannot be objective, you shouldn't be on the air, even on NPR.

Oct. 17 2009 07:54 AM
lynnette grise from Milford, CT

l listened to On the Media this morning. I was very disappointed with this segment "Obama VS Fox" I felt the monerator was very biased to the Left. The moderator should have left her own to the left comments to herself and not injected them into this segment. Very disappointing.

Oct. 17 2009 07:22 AM

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