Pressed for comment by NBC, President Obama says that Fox News is essentially a TV version of a talk radio station.
I think this is just the right approach. Obviously, Fox is very successful and has a big audience. And I don’t think the Obama administration should refuse to appear on Fox News, something I very much doubt they’d do. But it would not be honest to pretend the Fox is a real news organization in the sense that the other network news divisions or cable outlets are.
I’ve always noticed that Fox is the biggest on getting people who come on for interviews to give mini-Fox testimonials. How Fox is fair-and-balanced or the most cutting edge news organization out there or various nonsense like that. And if I’m not mistaken what that dingbat Liz Cheney’s beef is is that President Obama and members of his administration won’t do those promos for Fox. “Congratulations to Fox, a great news organization in the grand tradition!” and so forth.
Fox is not just not a conventional news organization like ABC News or the New York Times. It’s not even a legit opinion journalism outfit, as many other have noted over the last few days. Pretending otherwise is no better than pretending your cousin doesn’t have that drinking problem everyone in the family knows she has or telling people Corleone family businesses are all legit.
Come to think of it, the really apt analogy is professional wrestling. It’s entertainment. Lots of people like it. And to each his own. But it’s not right to pretend it’s a real sporting event, is it? It’s just not right.
Late Update: As I said in my previous post on the topic, this doesn’t mean there aren’t rock solid journos at Fox. I’m talking about the total package and who runs the place.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.