White House Communications Director calls Fox News ‘opinion journalism masquerading as news.’

Late last month, the White House posted a “reality check” on its blog, debunking some of Glenn Beck’s claims about the Olympics. At the end of the post, Online Programs Director Jesse Lee added that “even more Fox lies” had been called false by Politifact. In an article today on the White House’s increasingly aggressive interaction with Fox News, Time’s Michael Scherer quotes White House Communications Director Anita Dunn dismissing Fox as an “opinion journalism masquerading as news“:

The general in this war is Dunn, 51, a veteran campaign strategist who arrived at the White House in May. She has been a force in Democratic campaigns since the late 1980s and helmed Obama’s rapid-response operation during his run. At the White House, she has become a devoted consumer of conservative-media reports and a fierce critic of Fox News, leading the Administration’s effort to block officials, including Obama, from appearing on the network. “It’s opinion journalism masquerading as news,” Dunn says. “They are boosting their audience. But that doesn’t mean we are going to sit back.” Fox News’s head of news, Michael Clemente, counters that the White House criticism unfairly conflates the network’s reporters and its pundits, like Glenn Beck, whom he likens to “the op-ed page of a newspaper.”

Dunn isn’t the first White House aide to take a shot at the legitimacy of Fox’s news operation. Dunn’s deputy, Dan Pfieffer, told the AP recently that Fox was an “ideological news outlet.” Explaining the decision not to grant Fox News Sunday an interview with Obama recently, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “Fox is an ideological outlet where the president has been interviewed before and will likely be interviewed again.”