The Obama Administration and Fox News Controversy

The Obama Administration and Fox News controversy
ESSENCE.COM Oct, 29, 2009

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Responding to daily attacks on President Obama by the Fox News channel, White House communications director Anita Dunn dismissed the cable news channel as “opinion journalism masquerading as news,” arguing that the administration must distinguish its policies from Fox pundits. Is the White House pushing back at Fox News a good idea? You be the judge.

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“It’s a fact that Fox is opinion-driven. Around health care, for example, if you watch Fox News and then CNN, Fox will have a completely different take. They put their opinion into their reporting, instead of being unbiased. The White House directing attention to that is their way of calling them out, and I don’t see anything wrong with it.”— Krystal G., 25

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“While it’s worth addressing, the White House should cut it off after a certain time. They should say one or two things about it, and then leave it alone. If they give Fox News too much of their energy, then they’re just giving them more media, and people will think they’re more important than other news outlets.”—Robert Anderson, 36

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“It’s not the best thing for the White House to do. The news media is going to say what they want to say. It all depends on whomever is reporting it, so it’s pretty much always going to be biased anyway.”—Kymiel Standifer, 22

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“I think it’s beneath them. The administration should grant them interviews, but treat it with a grain of salt. I mean, they know what Fox is about and how they’re going to portray certain policies. What they should do is not cater to them, but still allow them their presence as a news organization.” —Keijon Waters, 37

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“We have to be realistic about how things work. I’m mad at Fox News, and I think they treat the President unfairly. But I don’t think it’s in the best interest to go to war with them. This is a free press society, and they’re entitled to be against the President. It would be best to not draw attention to them.—Vernell Grisson, 58

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“The White House should have nothing to do with the news at all. They have bigger problems that they need to take care of like the economy and fluctuating gas prices.”—Fonzie Agnew, 36

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“I think it’s the wrong strategy because it only raises Fox’s profile and gives them credibility. And they don’t deserve either.”—Kimberly Grantham, 42

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“I don’t think the White House should have anything to do with this. Fox isn’t like CNN; it’s more of an entertainment network. People always talk about how [Fox News] their controversial stories stray from straight news, but I don’t think that means they need to stop doing that. They’re just an alternative type of news, and it’s a format that some people like.”— Khadija Jordan, 26

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“The White House should definitely push back, but push back in a way that doesn’t make a lot of noise. They need to speak out publicly, but also talk directly to Fox News and figure out why they’re attacking President Obama in the first place and get to the root of the issue.—Dwain Lynch, 43