NEW YORK — President Barack Obama will give an interview to Fox News Channel's Major Garrett, perhaps signaling a thaw in relations between the network and administration. The White House confirmed Tuesday that Garrett will be included among a round of network interviews that the president is giving Wednesday in Beijing. Garrett also posted news of the interview on Twitter.
Fox and the administration have been in a public fight since former White House communications director Anita Dunn said the network acted like the research or communications arm of the Republican Party. The president pointedly avoided Fox when he gave a round of interviews to Sunday shows about his health care plan.
Garrett, Fox's senior White House correspondent and a CNN reporter before moving to Fox, will have 10 minutes with the president. Other network correspondents traveling with the president – Chip Reid of CBS, Chuck Todd of NBC and Ed Henry of CNN – will also get interviews. ABC gave up its slot when Jake Tapper spoke to Obama earlier.
It's the first time Obama has spoken specifically to a Fox correspondent since he talked with Garrett in July. Obama gave one other interview to Fox as president, to Sunday morning host Chris Wallace in February.
The White House was annoyed by Fox's aggressive coverage of protests against the president's health care plan over the summer. Dunn's comment that Fox is "more of a wing of the Republican Party" brought the administration's displeasure into focus.
Fox has contended that the White House does not make a distinction between Fox's straight news coverage and more opinion-oriented shows with such commentators as Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.
Since then, Dunn has left the job, which she said she was only doing on a temporary basis. Dan Pfeiffer has replaced her as White House communications director.