Fox News Responds To Anita Dunn Again — This Time With More Spice

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Danny Shea Editorial Director, The Huffington Post

Fox News has responded to outgoing White House communications director Anita Dunn, again wishing her well — but this time with more spice.

"We wish her well in her new position where we're sure she'll continue providing brilliant strategic vision," a Fox News spokesperson told the Huffington Post in response to Dunn's parting shots against the network.

Earlier in the day, Dunn — seen as the "general" in the administration's feud with Fox News — spoke out against Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, as well as the network at large, in an appearance at the Bloomberg News Washington Summit.

Last week, in response to the news that Dunn would be leaving the White House, Fox News merely said, "We wish Anita well in her future endeavors."

The "well-wish" is a classic response from the Fox News PR department, and is "usually accompanied by a kneecapping. It's something like a kiss from a Mafia don," the AP's David Bauder wrote in a 2006 article.. The network — which hadn't 'wished anyone well' in over three years before Dunn — has various degrees of response depending on the situation:

A wish-well is generally a team effort by Fox's PR staff, [Fox News PR Chief Brian] Lewis said....

Each line is a counter-punch, Lewis noted. Fox doesn't "go nuclear" unless provoked. And he doesn't want the lines to lose impact by overdoing it.

"Not every attack on us deserves a response," he said. "It could be no response. That's a strategy. It could be mild, medium or spicy, depending on what our needs are."

Clearly, this week's response is one degree "spicier" than last week's.

The Fox News spokesperson added that Dunn was incorrect in one of her statements about the network Friday.

"We have not made a decision network on whether or not we are going to do those," Dunn said in response to recent reports that President Obama would be interviewed by Fox News' Major Garrett while he is in China. "There are no confirmed television interviews in China. And if, oh, some network sent out a press release announcing that was going to happen you'd have to ask about that network and whether or not they really had their facts confirmed before they leaked that."

"Once again, Anita has her facts wrong," the spokesperson said. "Fox News never issued a press release."