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Anita Dunn Laughs Off Being a Mao-Lover, Takes Parting Shot at Fox News

Reported by Julie - November 15, 2009 -

Fox News has had its collective panties in a bunch since last month when White House Communication Director Anita Dunn’s made some severely negative comments about Fox. And boy oh boy, has Fox News ever been doing the whole hand-wringing thing in its own defense. Bret Baier had his predecessor, Brit Hume, on his show – along with Mary Katharine Ham and Juan Williams -- to scold the White House for taking on the media (oh, is that what we’re calling Fox News these days)? O’Reilly, too, brought Brit Hume on to defend Fox. Neil Cavuto had a little sexist rant on his show about her comments; you can see his mini-meltdown here. And of course, being the home of best defense/good offense, Fox took off on a Dunn-bashing crusade over a comment she made regarding Chairman Mao. Recently, as reported by News Hounds’ Ellen, Hannity had racist right-wing goofball, Bill Bennett, on his show, and Bennett, kind of as a calculated afterthought, threw the whole Anita-Dunn-Loves-Chairman-Mao thing out there. So, now, Dunn is leaving her position as White House Communications Director (no, Beck, you didn't chase her off -- Dunn had never planned to serve long, joining for on an interim basis in April.) As Dunn makes her exit with a parting shot at Fox, the talking head cases at Fox will no doubt be gnawing their own limbs off in frustration.

As reported by the Huffington Post, Dunn had a few giggles about Fox News. Calling it “a fun fact from this week,” Dunn chortled about Hannity’s use of spliced footage to grossly exaggerate the crowd at Michele Bachmann’s recent healthcare reform protest at the White House. (News Hounds’ Priscilla has the goods, along with Jon Stewart’s expose, here.) Dunn also laughed off Glenn Beck's accusation that she's a fan of Chairman Mao Zedong, saying, “You know, most media consultants usually are accused of other things, but that's not one of them.”

Fox News’ PR Department says they wish Dunn well in her future endeavors, but, as reported by the Huffington Post, AP’s David Bauder in a 2006 article stated, “The ‘well-wish’ is a classic response from the Fox News PR department . . . If someone at Fox News Channel wishes you well, watch your back . . . The seemingly benign sentiment is a creative signature of Fox's public relations, usually accompanied by a kneecapping. It's something like a kiss from a Mafia don.’"

As the Huffington Post stated, "The network — which hadn't ‘wished anyone well’ in over three years before Dunn — has various degrees of response depending on the situation: A wish-well is generally a team effort by Fox's PR staff, [Fox News PR Chief Brian] Lewis said.... Each line is a counter-punch, Lewis noted. Fox doesn't ‘go nuclear’ unless provoked. And he doesn't want the lines to lose impact by overdoing it. ‘Not every attack on us deserves a response,’ he said. ‘It could be no response. That's a strategy. It could be mild, medium or spicy, depending on what our needs are.’” Considering that Fox News’ PR Department took the opportunity, while wishing Dunn well, to slam her for misinformation, it seems that Fox is going the "spicy" route.

Fox News no doubt does wish Dunn well – well away from the White House, well away from the microphones, and well away from a public forum where she is unafraid to hold Fox News up to criticism as hot as a habanero chili pepper.