One reason Left-leaning pundits are so annoyed with the White House’s Fox vendetta (aside from the cringe-inducing sight of their heroic presidency reduced to an arm of Media Matters) is that it’s provided unprecedented advertising and validation for the much-reviled news network. Take this exchange between Robert Gibbs and Jake Tapper as Tapper questions why the White House has gone after one particular news organization:
Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.
Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say –
Gibbs: ABC —
Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?
Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.
Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” — why is that appropriate for the White House to say?
Gibbs: That’s our opinion.
It isn’t every day that a news organization gets an assist from a well-respected rival pointing out that its editorial and news functions are separate. And it isn’t every day that the name “Fox” comes up in story after story in competing outlets.
There’s also a queasiness evident in some of the questioning and criticism of the White House. Doesn’t the crusade against Fox only undermine how sycophantic much of the other coverage is? Of course the White House is pleased with CNN and MSNBC — because nary a critical word or an adverse news story is ever raised on those networks.
I imagine the news staff and marketing people at Fox are high-fiving one another. Could the White House keep this up for days and weeks more? There’s no telling how high Fox’s ratings could go if it does.