Obama's Fox News offensive: Has it worked?
Anita Dunn and others have called Fox News a wing of the Republican Party and boycotted the network. Critics say Fox News is changing its ways.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Yet critics of Fox News claim at least one victory. After teasing coverage of Oct. 17 Tea Party protests, Fox didn’t cover the events on TV, instead relegating coverage to its website. For a network that had expansive coverage of the Tea Party Express leading up to the 9/12 protests in Washington and had commentator Sean Hannity headline a Tea Party in Atlanta this summer, that "says something,” says Jess Levin, a spokeswoman for Media Matters for America, a liberal media watchdog group.
For many media experts, however, the question is: If Fox did blink, is that a good thing?
"Reacting to criticism is a very dangerous thing for any kind of publication to get involved in, especially when the criticism is ideological,” says Tom Edsall, author of “Building Red America” and political editor at The Huffington Post. “I do think that Fox has often been tilted to the right, but if they’re now inhibiting their coverage – if these Tea Parties [that they didn’t cover] were newsworthy – that’s not good.”
With its concerted campaign against Fox – including not sending administration members to talk to Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace – the White House has stepped up an unusual campaign on a major media organization.
The boycott came after Fox News broadcast an undercover investigation of ACORN, a liberal community organizing group, which led to its defunding by Congress. Fox News also highlighted reports that green jobs czar Van Jones signed a petition that questioned the official version of the 9/11 attacks, leading to his resignation.