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Kathy Shaidle

Media Matters: FOX News now "the Opposition Party in America"

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Posted on October 9 2009 9:01 am
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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White House Communications Director Anita Dunn: "Fox lies"

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn: FOX is "opinion journalism masquerading as news"

Liberals point to America’s life-expectancy rankings among other nations as proof that the U.S. needs socialized medicine — but never insist that our kids’ relatively low test scores mean we need to abolish public schools.

Speaking of test scores: if I taught history, I’d give most leftists I’ve met an “F”.

Case in point: journalists are hotly debating a TIME article about the new White House strategy for responding to critics in the media:

… new White House strategy has emerged: rather than just giving reporters ammunition to “fact-check” Obama‘s many critics, the White House decided it would become a player, issuing biting attacks on those pundits, politicians and outlets that make what the White House believes to be misleading or simply false claims …

… the White House blog now issues regular denunciations of the Administration‘s critics, including a recent post that announced, “Fox [News] lies.”

At the White House, [Communications Director Anita Dunn] has become a devoted consumer of conservative-media reports and a fierce critic of Fox News, leading the Administration’s effort to block officials, including Obama, from appearing on the network. “It’s opinion journalism masquerading as news,” Dunn says. “They are boosting their audience. But that doesn’t mean we are going to sit back.”

Fox News’s head of news, Michael Clemente, counters that the White House criticism unfairly conflates the network’s reporters and its pundits, like Glenn Beck, whom he likens to “the op-ed page of a newspaper.”

Exactly. It seems pretty obvious that Sean Hannity’s and Glenn Beck’s shows are not “the news,” any more than Larry King’s or Keith Olbermann‘s.

Obvious, that is, unless you work at Media Matters. Today, Eric Boehlert makes some startling claims that would seem to indicate that he resides in an alternative universe:

It’s funny, because traditionally when the GOP plays hardball with journalists and denounces them as unfair, the Beltway press is deeply impressed and often in awe, as it was with the Bush White House for many of its eight years.

Obama, his advisers, and his policies have been relentlessly slimed on television by Fox News the way no other administration has in American history, as the cable channel has clearly morphed itself into the Opposition Party in America.

BTW, we saw this same hand-wringing press reaction during the Clinton years whenever the White House publicly fact-checked some of the most egregious Whitewater-era reporting. The Village always responded with horror and demanded to know who gave Democrats the right to criticize the press?!

No, I don’t know what “the Village” is, either. And no, I don’t certainly remember the last twenty years of American history quite like Boehlert does.

Boehlert’s piece is heavily “footnoted” — that is, hyperlinked — when he’s citing Glenn Beck’s latest “crazy” theory. Oddly enough, none of the sentences above feature similar citations. I’d love to see some.

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