Now that the Obama administration has characterized Fox News as a political opponent rather than a disinterested news outlet, people are debating the political fallout as well as the veracity of the White House’s challenge.
The first clear shot in an already tense relationship was fired by Communications Director Anita Dunn who said, “We’re going to treat [Fox News] the way we treat an opponent.” How has the supposedly liberal media reacted? Well, not very liberally.
You’d think that what Fox News calls “liberal media bias” would have caused a united front behind the challenge issued by the White House. “Fox News often operates either as the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party,” Ms. Dunn said. “They 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.”
However, the New York Times’ report on the event treats Fox News and the White House as two players with equally legitimate positions. One could surmise from the article that the Administration might be making it all up. No facts from Fox News broadcasts are reported on. Neither is the fact that former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said the Bush Administration gave talking points to Fox News commentators.
For a more objective (and “liberal”) analysis of Fox News, read the Guardian’s article.
The genius of journalism is that it has the power to hold authority responsible. Objectivity does not mean everyone involved in a debate is equal. It is possible, likely even, that one side is more correct than the other. When the “liberal press” holds back on the facts for fear of being called liberal, which has been terribly conflated with not being objective, the one who shouts the loudest will “win” the debate.