White House vs Fox News

Is the U.S. White House "attacking the messenger" -- or refusing to pretend that the Fox News Channel news is performing journalism, when it's really part of the partisan opposition?

U.S. online media outlet Politico broke news of the dispute between the American administration and TV business earlier this month, noting that White House officials "expressed pique with what they consider heavy coverage of Obama critics by opinion shows on the news channel." Fox News was shut out from a series of interviews that President Barak Obama gave to other TV shows, Politico reported, "while the Fox broadcast network declined to carry Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress, or his most recent prime-time news conference."

The New York Times reported on escalating tension between Fox, owned by Rupert Murdoch, and the presidential administration.

The White House side is clear: Fox is not a legitimate news organization. Reported the Times: '“We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” said Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, in a telephone interview on Sunday. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.” '

Fox's response is equally hard-line: "“Instead of governing, the White House continues to be in campaign mode, and Fox News is the target of their attack mentality,” Michael Clemente, the channel’s senior vice president for news, said in a statement on Sunday. “Perhaps the energy would be better spent on the critical issues that voters are worried about.” '

The nub of the dispute seems to be where, and how, Fox draws a line between reporting news and spouting opinion.

Their news reporting team seems to have at least some respect; the Times said spokesperson Dunn called Fox's White House chief correspondent "fair."

Fox's big-name, far-right-wing, polarizing -- and in my opinion often crazed -- commentators are another matter.

The big question is whether Fox's viewers can tell the difference between the two. Maybe media outlets need "nutritional content" guidelines like the mandatory labels on food -- but instead of the percentage of transfats and salt, the media outlets would declare the amount of reportage and opinions.

SOURCE: The Canadian Journalism Project


Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home