The White House dispatched top officials to the Sunday morning talk shows yesterday. The conversation continued around WH Communications Director Anita Dunn‘s remarks last week in which she said in part, “Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party…Let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”
Senior Adviser David Axelrod appeared on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” while White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was a guest on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Axelrod said of Fox News, “It’s not really news. It’s pushing a point of view. The bigger thing is that, other news organizations, like yours, ought not treat them that way…We’re going to appear on their shows, we’re going to participate.” TVNewser has video of both appearances.
The question for many is if “we’re going to appear on their shows” means President Obama or only administration officials. Obama’s last appearance on Fox News was a sitdown with Bill O’Reilly on September 4th, 2008.
The New York Times‘ media critic David Carr devoted his column this week to the subject and wrote, “People who work in political communications have pointed out that it is a principle of power dynamics to “punch up” – that is, to take on bigger foes, not smaller ones. A blog on the White House Web site that uses a “truth-o-meter” against a particular cable news network would not seem to qualify.”