Saturday, May 2, 2009

What Did You Expect, FOX?

FOX News continues to play the aggrieved victim card from Wednesday, claiming Barack Obama hates them after FOX refused to air the President's press conference.

Soon after the event, Fox News was complaining. That's hardly odd. But 48 hours later, the carping was still going strong.

Chris Wallace, for example, whined yesterday about the president "boycotting" Fox News, because Fox didn't air the press conference the way the real networks did. (Is "boycott" really the right word here?) Fox News White House correspondent Major Garrett said Friday the president deliberately sought "retribution" against the Republican network. Last night, Sean Hannity was outraged. Glenn Beck whined, "What a surprise. I mean how can the guy face Ahmadinejad but he can't face Fox?"

This is all terribly silly. For one thing, Fox News should be pleased it's even allowed to attend White House press conferences, as if it were a legitimate, professional news outlet. I've always considered it quite generous that the president's team doesn't just dismiss the network as a propaganda machine.

But more important is the fact that the network's incessant complaining overlooks recent history.

It's hard to suggest that Obama doesn't want to "face" Fox News, given that its White House correspondent, Major Garrett, was called on at the two previous prime-time news conferences. When Fox suggested that they were not being given enough access to Obama during last fall's presidential campaign, Garrett actually defended Obama. "[M]ay I point out Obama has done 5 interviews with me and one with Chris Wallace, one with Brit Hume and one with Bill O'Reilly," Garrett wrote in an e-mail obtained by Huffington Post.

Obama decided not to call on Fox News for one press conference, after having called on the network in the two previous press conferences. This is hardly grounds for days of on-air whimpering.

Of course the real point of the FOX refusal to was to suggest it was the first signs of media blowback against a somehow deeply unpopular President that has to resort to spouting propaganda across the airwaves because he's so very much reviled by America.

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