White House adviser David Axelrod recently met with Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes to discuss “news coverage and the relationship between the organizations.” Last month, Fox found itself shut out when President Obama made appearances on the Sunday morning public opinion shows of ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, and Univision — but left out Fox (which host Chris Wallace whined about on his show). The move came after Fox was the only network that refused to air the President’s joint address to Congress. Fox hosts have accused Obama of leading the country on a path to socialism, stirred up tea party protests, and gone after administration officials, and the White House has responded by criticizing the network.
Fox is patting itself on the back over a job well done, according to a new Time magazine article. “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. He then compared the network to veteran journalist Sam Donaldson, who was doing a good job because he was “enemy number one” to both the Carter and Reagan White Houses:
As for Fox’s journalism, Clemente said the White House criticism was typical of other administrations who have been critical of certain reporters. “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.”
Of course, the difference is that Fox News hasn’t met a Republican administration it didn’t love. While it may be out of favor with the Obama administration, it was the best friend of the Bush White House. Remember, Fox was the network:
— that received “unprecedented access by George W. Bush” for a one-hour documentary — “George W. Bush: Fighting to the Finish” — highlighting the administration’s accomplishments.
— that happily used talking points provided to them by the Bush administration.
— whose reporters couldn’t help from editorializing that Bush put America on an “amazing” foreign policy path, defending Bush by saying he “inherited” the 9/11 attacks, and arguing that critics who compared Bush to Nixon were guilty of a “gross misreading of history.”
Further demonstrating the love between the network and the Bush White House, Vice President Cheney always demanded that the televisions in his hotel rooms be turned to Fox News.