Fox News deserves White House access

Fox News, for all its faults, is still a news channel that millions of Americans choose to watch.

While I find its unrelenting right-wing slant objectionable, I also find MSNBC’s primetime weeknight left-wing bias just as unforgivable for an organization that bills itself as a news operation.

Keith Olbermann is the Bill O’Reilly of the left. He, like O’Reilly and his other favorite target — Rush Limbaugh — is an entertainer, not a journalist.

Olbermann’s show ranked 15th among cable news shows in the latest ratings. O’Reilly came in first and Glenn Beck — another favorite target — is second. Even aging Larry King beat Olbermann, finishing 14th. Among all cable channels, Fox came in third — behing sports channel ESPN and USA Network.

But that’s my opinion — nothing more, nothing less. Some consider what Olbermann and Rachel Maddow dish out nightly as news, just as others consider Fox’s right-wing pap as real information.

During an off-camera exchange with ABC’s Jake Tapper Tuesday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs defended the coordinated Obama administration campaign against Fox News by staying “that’s our opinion.”

Fine. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But the President of the United States should not let his opinion determine what is or it not news for the rest of America. He should not shut out one news organization simply because he doesn’t like its perspective.

In the real world, that’s called censorship and government control of the media and when the government starts deciding who is or is not media, we’re all headed down a slippery slope.

It’s hard to find truly objective media coverage nowadays. Fox represents the right, MSNBC the left. Republicans complain the New York Times is a “liberal rag” and liberals point to anything owned by Rupert Murdoch as a “right wing propaganda tool.”

But this is America where expression of opinion — right, left or independent — is supposed to be guaranteed by the Constitution.

Unfortunately, in partisan political America, only one point of view is permitted and the party in power does all that it can to discredit and destroy anyone who dares disagree with their limited perception of the world.

When the Obama White House decided to freeze out Fox News, it engaged in just the kind of “enemies list” mentality that Richard Nixon used in a Presidency that ended in disgrace. The administration’s action against Fox News is just one part of an aggressive, coordinated campaign to destroy the credibility and effectiveness of the opposition party.

In the 1970s, the federal government tried to shut down pornographer Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine. The case became a national debate over censorship.

Conservative columnist James J. Kilpatrick wrote:

There’s an old saying that “when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” Well, I’m about to defend Larry Flynt and I’m itching like hell.

Barack Obama needs to buy a good, old-fashioned wooden back scratcher.

Lying down with dogs is part of being President of the United States. Fleas come with the job.


  1. Farmer Tom

    I agree that Fox is a flea-infested mangy mutt. I don’t agree that Obama– or anyone, public or private– owes Fox anything– not the time of day, not responses to questions, not access. Fox may be viewed by millions, but so what? So is Oprah. Calling Fox News “news” doesn’t make it so. Does Obama “owe” it to Rush to show up on his show if Rush asked? Hardly. The president was hired to do a job, and Presidents sometimes limit their accessibility– just look at the most recent pres, who had what, seven? Eight press conferences during his time in office? Some absurdly small number. Anyone who hangs a Press button on his or her shirt may ask anything of of anyone, but granting a reply is optional.

  2. Warren

    Interesting. Now we have two completely different versions of the story. Seems like the other news orgs have not rebutted the earlier Fox account while they have been mum, so far, on the new White House version. The Fox version elaborated in enough detail that I’m inclined to prefer it barring additional evidence or weigh-in from the other networks.


  3. RichardKanePA

    Thanks Cosmic Surfer for reminding me of Rupert Murdock’s heavy-handed concerted agenda, and for making a real attempt at persuading Doug away from the notion that MSNBC represents the Left. represents the Left, and like Fox it steers most of its material at persuading. In the 60’s through the 90’s MSNBC would be conservative. Suddenly it’s like the Twilight Zone where thoughtful people suddenly see things differently.

    Murdock is not alone; his dream of changing the world is mixed in with Dick Cheney’s, and the Washington Time’s. The shrillest commentators at the Washington Times get rewarded by appearing on Fox News, the best example go to soobieDavis blog,
    And scrawl down to Sept 29,
    or try to click on the following sticky link,

    The Washington Times had an article on children murdered in Chicago, but the picture with it was of Obama’s children,

    The accusation Obama was a Muslim wasn’t urban legend but an concerted smear,

    Griff mentioned “‘I can’t even remember how many times we heard the left call out Bush for being “Hitlerian’ and fascist”’. Griff, I wasn’t one of them. I saw President Bush as lost in a big office he didn’t understand, sometime being led around by the nose by the vice president but mostly just sitting there and trying not to look stupid. Once in a while (in my mind at least) doing something effective like urging people not to deface Muslim businesses after 9/11.

    I think the accusations against fumbling Bush fit better when applied to his father the first President Bush and to Reagan. Now we are getting a concerted effort to convince reality that Obama represents evil. But this time it is a systematic effort by skilled manipulators, rather than endless hyperbole by frustrated activists. I made several half-hearted attempts, at trying to oppose the hyperbole and oppose the things Cheney, and others, pushed Bush into at the same time. But today unless someone can stop the nonsense claiming Obama represents evil, the future may very well be a much more grim place to be.

    I hope I got Cosmic Surfer to expand his insight beyond Murdock and perhaps may be able to report what I see better than I can.


  4. bogofree

    Nailed the analysis on the “news” outlets. Since FOX goes against the party line they are on the outside looking in and to me that only increases their credibility – they might be onto something. Maybe someone should hand Emperor WOW (Walk On Water) some clothes.

  5. rporter314

    there is a big difference between fox and msnbc … fox begs people to believe they are fair and balanced while msnbc makes no such ridiculous assertion …

  6. almandine

    Looks to me like he’s still “community organizer” Obama.

    By his own words and deeds, he’s not an active President for us all, but one just for the “victims” America has come to create.

  7. Warren

    50,000 feet: Obama could be doing a lot to douse the fire of extreme partisanship that is crippling our government. How? Just ignore Fox’s silliness and treat them like any other major news outlet. Get above the triviality.

    Instead, what is he doing? Fanning the flames.

    [edit] It occurs to me that he really doesn’t know when to stop being ‘Candidate Obama’ and start being ‘President Obama’.


  8. Cosmic Surfer

    @RichardKanePA_- Thank you for seeing beyond the insanity on the ground to see the strings manipulating the puppet show.
    I agree with your points on other outlets…If people were paying attention, they would have seen that The Washington Times was never to be trusted to be anything but a stringently biased, hate and fear mongering, centrist and left bashing tabloid when The Reverend Sun Myung Moon created it in 1982 – often discounted, the rag continues its racially biased, red-baiting, war mongering spin with a good unhealthy dose of American Exceptionalist ideologue pander to pull in those drum beating, flag draped, brain choked 1 in 5 that seem to march to the beat of anything that is put out to make the US out as God’s chosen no matter how much blood is spilled, land is stolen and lives are ruined; it often seems to be at the forefront of what passes for Conservative news (the man, by the way, besides starting his own cult based on brainwashing converts and annual mass weddings, declared Nixon an Archangel) but people still buy it, read it, believe it.
    Concerning Cheney – he is Washington’s incurable STD and has been there pushing buttons and pulling levers behind the curtain for nearly 50 years but without Murdoch, Cheney would not get the air time, at least not as much nor as easily – Murdock uses Cheney every bit as much as Cheney uses FOX. They are a match made in hell.
    The Project for a New American Century, still active but now spreading out under a variety of names, has had a good DEAL of control in DC over the past 20 years though its membership has been attached to the body politic like huge tapeworms and botflies, feeding off the country and popping up in nearly every administration since Truman. THEY are the “military industrial complex” ; they planned and created much of what occurred in the 2000 election…just look at the membership and see the Who’s Who of Republican candidates 2000 – Steve Forbes, Dan Quayle, Jeb Bush plopping GW in since Jeb had to put in the fix in Florida
    Murdock founded the Weekly Standard for the PNAC.
    You are right on – there are more people playing the propaganda game with the media than Murdoch, but I, also, know that as far as resources, power and maniacal ambition? Murdock runs rings around most. Many outlets, from radio to TV to publishing, can be picked from a line up; can be shown as another outlet with an agenda to control through propaganda but please go BACK to the source; always look at the source – follow the money (and that includes those media outlets in other countries – keep this in mind, Murdoch owns 20% OF ALL media in the world from London to Japan to Korea to Australia to the US and has a large interest in many others)