Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 2, 2009

THE FNC 'SNUB'.... On Wednesday night, President Obama held a prime time White House press conference, fielding questions from a variety of news outlets. It lasted about an hour, and is always the case, some news outlets didn't get a chance to ask a question. It's the nature of the process -- some folks are going to get left out. Better luck next time.

And while it's not uncommon to hear some grumbling the morning after a press conference about one outlet or another feeling "snubbed," I can't recall the last time a news outlet whined as incessantly as Fox News is whining now about not getting called on during Wednesday's presser.

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.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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Comments

Perhaps it is an insular case of reality gob-smacking an increasingly out of touch dolt clique with the cream pie of facts ?
Would you believe two cops in a rowboat ?

Posted by: FRP on May 2, 2009 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

I smell an escalating vendetta in the works ending with Sean Hannity's head exploding, Beck foaming at the mouth, and O'Reilly screaming at Obama to "shut up". What fun.

Posted by: rRk1 on May 2, 2009 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

What the surprise here? As a far right mouthpiece for the GOP, FOX's mission is to deliver delusion to the delusional. They need to play victim for das base to recognize them as one of their own.

Going by recent polls, the FOX/GOP strategy of firing up the base through deliberate distortion and outright lies may be doing as much (or more) to pare the base down to clinically insane as to fire them up.

Posted by: JoeW on May 2, 2009 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Obama should snub Fox again by calling on Major then saying, "Sorry Major, that question is too minor. You can ask Gibbs at tomorrow's daily briefing. Next."

Posted by: Bob Johnson on May 2, 2009 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Glenn Beck whined, "What a surprise. I mean how can the guy face Ahmadinejad but he can't face Fox?"

They're equally insane and equally anti-American, so why would you need to meet both?

Posted by: TR on May 2, 2009 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

This is hardly grounds for days of on-air whimpering

True, but behaving like put-upon, pseudo-intellectual thirteen-year-olds it what Fox News is all about.

Posted by: David Bailey on May 2, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe he should take questions left to right front to back with assigned seating?

Make it a tradition so the inevitable clone of George Dubya who the Republicans slip into office someday will be VERY conspicuous when he skips someone who's likely to ask a tough question?

Set strict standards for who gets a seat too (based on circulation or third party web traffic measurement?) so that the press room constituents can't be changed to nothing but sycophants.

Obama is the kind of guy who'd be able to set this up because he's usually prepared for anything any of them can dish out.


Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on May 2, 2009 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, the whining began, almost immediately, following the press conference - I did a quick switch from MSNBC to CNN to BillO to check comments - Dick "Where are my Hooker's Numbers?" Morris was carping to BillO about Major getting stiffed - BillO replied that it was not surprising in that the President was miffed about the Tea Parties.

But, Murdoch was not shut out - Wasn't the last question from a WSJ reporter?

Posted by: berttheclock on May 2, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

OH Boy and there was Huck this morning on faux with his band of mental midgets revisiting the teleprompter issue again .This horse ain't dead yet let's give it a few more lashes. Seems they found a flub that they played in a loop and went on an on about how Obama can't communicate without a teleprompter. (Ya like that last press conference) I would love to see how long Ol' Huck and any of the airhead wonders on TEEVEE news would survive without a teleprompter.

Posted by: John R on May 2, 2009 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

I would love to see how long Ol' Huck and any of the airhead wonders on TEEVEE news would survive without a teleprompter.

When you don't give a rat's ass about the accuracy or decency of what you says, you can survive just fine. FOX is a constant example of this.

Posted by: DH Walker on May 2, 2009 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

This is hardly grounds for days of on-air whimpering.

well, unless you're a whiny-ass titty baby with a profound sense of (unearned) entitlement. much like chris wallace and his faux newshounds.

Posted by: linda on May 2, 2009 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

it's not uncommon to hear some grumbling the morning after a press conference about one outlet or another feeling "snubbed," I can't recall the last time a news outlet whined as incessantly as Fox News


Umm... Aren't we talking about the same network that snubbed Obama's press conference by refusing to cancel their programming. The only network to do so? Isn't FOX News affiliated with that network?


FOX, FUCK YOU

Posted by: wtf on May 2, 2009 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

fox is ginning up controversy because, if you haven't noticed, their "on-air" guys like to BE the news.

when did facts ever get in the way of fox?

facts interfere with them being the center of the universe.

Posted by: karen marie on May 2, 2009 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

With Fox unashamedly playing to the right-wing crazies, who are not a Democrat constituency anyway, what's Obama to lose by ignoring Fox?

And in case anyone forgot, Obama was already freezing out Fox during the campaign and only appeared on O'Reilly after Murdoch personally brokered a deal. But then Billo, being his usual self, botched that exercise.

Looks like Obama is submitting Fox to a bit of house training and there's little reason that can't continue until they show some signs of improvement.

Posted by: SRW1 on May 2, 2009 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Someone is worried what a failed stand-up comedian like Beck has to say about anything? He's just playing to the audience, like any talentless hack-off on open mike night. Now that he has an audience back, he's doing a new comedy tour this summer. Watch for him in your local comedy club, and be sure to take rotten tomatoes and eggs to the show.

Posted by: TCinLA on May 2, 2009 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

"This horse ain't dead yet let's give it a few more lashes"

Seems as though FAUX is sitting atop that carraige, ala Scarlett, heading back to Tara, where Rupert will say "We must ask Mrs O'Hara about that; Mrs. O'Hara will know".

Posted by: berttheclock on May 2, 2009 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

AFAIC, Fox is wasting valuable air time that could be better spent lying about more important things.

Posted by: inkadu on May 2, 2009 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

If FAUX News treated Obama with a tenth of the respect that they demanded legitimate news organizations treat GWB, they might have a reason to whine. As it is, they should count themselves lucky that they are allowed in DC, let alone the WH.

Posted by: majun on May 2, 2009 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

I really do think, because of its failure to adhere to any kind of professional journalistic standards, that Fox should be de-credentialed, and given no access to the White House at all. They could re-apply after a year if they could demonstrate they will no longer air falsehoods, edited tapes and dangerously inflammatory nut-jobs like that jackass who weeps and shouts.

But it's been two Saturdays in a row without This Week in god. What's up with that?

Posted by: hells littlest angel on May 2, 2009 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Let's see. Fox was the one broadcast group that didn't air the press conference, choosing, instead, to keep with their weekly lineup.

So they're surprised when the President doesn't give their reporter face time at the presser? Seems like a no brainer to me.

Posted by: Donna on May 2, 2009 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

We need a quota system to guarantee that Fox News gets included.

Posted by: Ross Best on May 2, 2009 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand... Faux, obviously, wasn't interested in what Obama had to say and/or didn't think their audience would be, either, hence passing on covering the press conference. Why, then, would they want to ask him any questions? It's not as if their audience would see/hear the answer and proudly say: there's *my* journalist, sticking it to the SOB... They have -- voluntarily -- excluded themselves from the event; what's their beef now?

Posted by: exlibra on May 2, 2009 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

This is just another example of Obama's clear brilliance.

In addition to being wackos who will twist any fact into a manufactured scandal, wingnuts are also inherently lazy, and Obama understands that this is the key by which to manipulate them.

In order to keep the wingnuts from performing the hard work of digging up and mongering an actual scandal, something which might get some actual traction, Obama instead keeps presenting them with low-hanging, completely ridiculous fruit which they simply cannot resist, due to their stupidity and laziness, and which after they pick and hold up to the world, continues to make them look like complete freaks to all sane folks.

Brilliant.

Posted by: Disputo on May 2, 2009 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

What I'd love to see here are the responses from FNC, its managers and editors, to the comments they must be receiving from many who appear here in these comments. What kind of response would they give to:
"When you don't give a rat's ass about the accuracy or decency of what you say, you can survive just fine. FOX is a constant example of this." DH Walker @9:35AM
or
"This is just another example of Obama's clear brilliance.
In addition to being wackos who will twist any fact into a manufactured scandal, wingnuts are also inherently lazy, and Obama understands that this is the key by which to manipulate them.

In order to keep the wingnuts from performing the hard work of digging up and mongering an actual scandal, something which might get some actual traction, Obama instead keeps presenting them with low-hanging, completely ridiculous fruit which they simply cannot resist, due to their stupidity and laziness, and which after they pick and hold up to the world, continues to make them look like complete freaks to all sane folks." Disputo @6:29PM

Care to share the responses?

peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on May 2, 2009 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, nobody named "Major" can be taken seriously.

Posted by: Paul J. Camp on May 3, 2009 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

The ONLY time fox no-news should be recognized for ANYTHING is the day they close their doors.

Posted by: Winski on May 3, 2009 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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