White House's Fox News Boycott Attempt Prompts Network Revolt [UPDATED]
Update 10/24: The picture of how Fox News came to be included in the round of interviews with "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg continued to get clearer Saturday. CLICK HERE FOR NEW DETAILS on how the other networks in the pool refused to participate in the interview without Fox News.
UPDATE: Politico reported this afternoon that it was primarily the Treasury Department that was in charge of arranging whether or not Fox News would attend the round of interviews with "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg, as opposed to the White House. And according to Mediaite, the Treasury Department has denied any attempt to exclude Fox News, saying:
There was no plot to exclude Fox News, and they had the same interview that their competitors did. Much ado about absolutely nothing.
As for Fox's claim that other Washington bureau chiefs came to the network's rescue over the alleged snub, TPMDC reports that it spoke with one of the other network bureau chiefs, who apparently was surprised to learn that Fox was describing the situation that way.
"If any member had been excluded it would have been same thing, it has nothing to do with Fox or the White House or the substance of the issues," the bureau chief said. "It's all for one and one for all."
Friday night on the "CBS Evening News," White House correspondent Chip Reid corroborated the idea of the networks standing up behind Fox News.
"All the networks said, that's it, you've crossed the line," he said.
As for the White House, it continued its confrontational tone with Fox News while also denying any attempt to bar them from yesterday's interview, TPMDC reports:
"This White House has demonstrated our willingness to exclude Fox News from newsmaking interviews, but yesterday we did not," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest
The White House attempted to block Fox News from a round of interviews with "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg Thursday, but the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks included in the White House pool refused to interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included.
Fox News says that the White House "failed in its attempt to manipulate other news networks into isolating and excluding Fox News."
The attempt to shut Fox News out was the latest move in the administration's ongoing battle against the cable news channel, which several senior administration officials have claimed is not a legitimate news organization.
The decision by the network bureau chiefs to stand with Fox News is one of the first instances of the mainstream media defending Fox News against the White House's claims.
"I'm really cheered by the other members saying "No, if Fox can't be part of it, we won't be part of it,'" Baltimore Sun TV critic (and regular Fox News detractor) David Zurawik said Thursday.
"What it's really about to me is the Executive Branch of the government trying to tell the press how it should behave. I mean, this democracy -- we know this -- only works with a free and unfettered press to provide information," he said.