White House senior adviser David Axelrod and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel continued the Obama administration's criticism of Fox News during their interviews this morning on ABC and CNN, respectively. Both Axelrod and Emanuel cautioned that one of their main concerns is that other news organizations not follow Fox's lead in coverage, which the White House does not see as 'fair and balanced.'
Axelrod said the White House would continue to have its officials appear on Fox, but that their approach to the network is that "it's not really news":
It's really not news. It's pushing a point of view. And the bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way, and we're not going to treat them that way. We're going to appear on their shows. We're going to participate but understanding that they represent a point of view."
Emanuel made sure to note that Fox News is not the White House's sole concern, but he echoed Axelrod in not labeling Fox a news organization.
It's not so much a conflict with Fox News. But unlike I suppose the way to look at it, the way the President looks at it and we look at it, it's not a news organization so much as it has a perspective. And that's a different take. And more importantly is not have the CNNs and the others in the world, basically be led and following Fox as what they're trying to do as legitimate news organization in the sense of both sides and a sense of valued opinion.
Michael Clemente, Senior Vice President of News, FOX News, issued this statement defending the cable news network:
Surprisingly, the White House continues to declare war on a news organization instead of focusing on the critical issues that Americans are concerned about like jobs, health care and two wars. The door remains open and we welcome a discussion about the facts behind the issues.