The FNC ‘snub’

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.