HOW FOX NEWS PERCEIVES ITS WORK…. Mike Allen reported yesterday that White House advisor David Axelrod and Fox News president Roger Ailes recently got together for a little chat. According to the report, the meeting occurred two weeks ago, and while it’s unclear exactly what transpired, there’s no reason to think the animosity between the White House and the Republican cable news network has dissipated.
Time‘s Michael Scherer followed up and gained some interesting insights.
“The fact that our numbers are up 30 plus in the news arena on basic cable I’d like to think is a sign that we are just putting what we believe to be the facts out on the table,” said Michael Clemente, Fox’s senior vice president for news, in an interview on Tuesday.
Ezra added, “Most news organizations, in my experience, do not have to qualify the word ‘facts’ with the words ‘what we believe to be.’”
Clemente added that White House frustration with the propaganda outlet is consistent with other recent administrations.
“It reminds me a little bit about what happened to Sam Donaldson when he was covering the White House,” said Clemente. “The Reagan White House thought he was enemy number one. He had the same relationship with the Carter White House. They thought he was enemy number one. He thought he was doing his job.”
The comparison doesn’t make sense, for exactly the reason Clemente mentioned. Reagan and his team thought Donaldson was an attack dog, but Donaldson “had the same relationship with the Carter White House.”
In other words, he didn’t play favorites, and went after stories with equal enthusiasm regardless of the party in power.
In contrast, Fox News and the Bush White House were two peas in a pod — the president literally took his press secretary from the network and granted FNC all kinds of exclusives — while Fox News has deliberately positioned itself as the Obama White House’s enemy.