Administration's war on Fox News a ratings boon for network

Never pick a fight with someone who already owns the largest slice of cable news audience.

In the case of the Obama administration, their whining about the "ideological" bent of Fox News rings rather hollow when you consider the laughable bias of their competitors:

Attacking the news media is a time-honored White House tactic but to an unusual degree, the Obama administration has narrowed its sights to one specific organization, the Fox News Channel, calling it, in essence, part of the political opposition.

"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."

Ms. Dunn made this comment with a straight face, less than a week after CNN devoted 5 minutes of air time to seriously "fact checking" a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch.

About those "legitimate news organizations," Ms Dunn. You were saying...?

The Brian Steltzer New York Times piece continues, unaware of the self-parody Dunn is promoting every time she opens her mouth:

The White House has limited administration members' appearances on the network in recent weeks. In mid-September, when the White House booked Mr. Obama on a round robin of Sunday morning talk shows, it skipped Fox and called it an "ideological outlet," leading the "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace to appear on Bill O'Reilly's prime-time show and call the administration "the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington."
Ms. Dunn called that remark juvenile and stressed that administration officials would still talk to Fox, and that Mr. Obama was likely to be interviewed on the network in the future. But, she added, "we're not going to legitimize them as a news organization."

What is "juvenile," of course, is ignoring the worshipful coverage Mr. Obama receives on MSNBC with Chris "thrill up my leg" Matthews headlining a prime time lineup that features two ranting, raving lunatics (Olbermann and Schultz) and a snidely partisan refugee from Air America (Maddow).

Funny how she sorta forgot that.

No matter. Every time she or some other administration official opens their mouth in criticism against Fox News, the cable network's audience goes up. They are on pace to break their own record:

"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."


Fox's senior vice president for programming, Bill Shine, says of the criticism from the White House, "Every time they do it, our ratings go up." Mr. Obama's first year is on track to be the Fox News Channel's highest rated.


One Fox executive said that the jabs by the White House could solidify the network's audience base and recalled that Mr. Ailes had remarked internally: "Don't pick a fight with people who like to fight." The executive asked not to be named while discussing internal conversations.

Frankly, I can't figure what the fuss is all about. With about 90% of the media slavishly devoting themselves to promoting Obama and his agenda, this relatively small corner of opposition (at least from prime time hosts and Glenn Beck - not from the straight news division) would seem a gnat to be brushed aside not the target of a White House nuclear assault.

Perhaps Chris Wallace's observation that they are crybabies rings truer than anyone in the administration will admit.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky








Never pick a fight with someone who already owns the largest slice of cable news audience.

In the case of the Obama administration, their whining about the "ideological" bent of Fox News rings rather hollow when you consider the laughable bias of their competitors:

Attacking the news media is a time-honored White House tactic but to an unusual degree, the Obama administration has narrowed its sights to one specific organization, the Fox News Channel, calling it, in essence, part of the political opposition.

"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."

Ms. Dunn made this comment with a straight face, less than a week after CNN devoted 5 minutes of air time to seriously "fact checking" a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch.

About those "legitimate news organizations," Ms Dunn. You were saying...?

The Brian Steltzer New York Times piece continues, unaware of the self-parody Dunn is promoting every time she opens her mouth:

The White House has limited administration members' appearances on the network in recent weeks. In mid-September, when the White House booked Mr. Obama on a round robin of Sunday morning talk shows, it skipped Fox and called it an "ideological outlet," leading the "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace to appear on Bill O'Reilly's prime-time show and call the administration "the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington."
Ms. Dunn called that remark juvenile and stressed that administration officials would still talk to Fox, and that Mr. Obama was likely to be interviewed on the network in the future. But, she added, "we're not going to legitimize them as a news organization."

What is "juvenile," of course, is ignoring the worshipful coverage Mr. Obama receives on MSNBC with Chris "thrill up my leg" Matthews headlining a prime time lineup that features two ranting, raving lunatics (Olbermann and Schultz) and a snidely partisan refugee from Air America (Maddow).

Funny how she sorta forgot that.

No matter. Every time she or some other administration official opens their mouth in criticism against Fox News, the cable network's audience goes up. They are on pace to break their own record:

"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."


Fox's senior vice president for programming, Bill Shine, says of the criticism from the White House, "Every time they do it, our ratings go up." Mr. Obama's first year is on track to be the Fox News Channel's highest rated.


One Fox executive said that the jabs by the White House could solidify the network's audience base and recalled that Mr. Ailes had remarked internally: "Don't pick a fight with people who like to fight." The executive asked not to be named while discussing internal conversations.

Frankly, I can't figure what the fuss is all about. With about 90% of the media slavishly devoting themselves to promoting Obama and his agenda, this relatively small corner of opposition (at least from prime time hosts and Glenn Beck - not from the straight news division) would seem a gnat to be brushed aside not the target of a White House nuclear assault.

Perhaps Chris Wallace's observation that they are crybabies rings truer than anyone in the administration will admit.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky