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White House Communications Director: Fox News Often Operates As Almost Either The Research Arm Or The Communications Arm Of The Republican Party

Reported by Ellen - October 11, 2009 -

I am delighted to see the White House finally hitting back at Fox News and the media. In my opinion, they are doing it in the right way: by throwing a spotlight on their tactics. A few days ago, Time magazine reported on a new White House strategy to, in the words of President Obama, “call ‘em out.” In the same article, White House communications director Anita Dunn commented that Fox News is “opinion journalism masquerading as news.” Earlier today, she amplified on those comments and signaled that President Obama will engage with Fox but on his own terms. With video.

This morning, Dunn explained to CNN’s Howard Kurtz her earlier comments and confirmed that Fox's partisanship is why President Obama declined to appear on Fox during a blitz of appearances on Sunday talk shows last month.

"The reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party...

When (Obama) goes on Fox, he understands he’s not going on it, really, as a news network at this point. He’s going on to debate the opposition and that’s fine. He never minds doing that. But let’s be realistic here, Howie, they’re widely viewed as, you know, a part of the Republican Party — take their talking points, put them on the air, take their opposition research, put them on the air, and that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is."

(H/T Think Progress)