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Media Critic: Fox Only Press Doing Its Job

By Dave Eberhart   |   Friday, 19 Jun 2009 01:47 PM

After President Barack Obama fired a shot at Fox News for always attacking his administration, Fox fired back, and now a respected television critic has joined in the crossfire – calling for other networks to also get tough with the administration’s policies, according to a report by stltoday.com.

Longtime Baltimore Sun critic David Zurawik wrote a column this week entitled: “Time for TV Press to Quit Being Used by Obama.”

In it he writes, “After 24 years of reporting and writing about TV and media on a daily basis, I have to say in fairness that I do not believe ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and the others allow their news operations to be used by the White House for partisan political reasons.

“Based on my experience, I believe it is more a matter of business: Obama means strong ratings, and they will do almost anything to get him on their channel or network given the business he brings with him,” the critic opined.

Zurawik says he wants the TV press to step back and question how it is covering President Barack Obama. “Thank goodness at least one TV outlet, Fox, is questioning Team Obama as it pushes for the kind of massive change in American life not seen since the era of Franklin Roosevelt,” he blasted.

He added that in his opinion the Obama administration is better at manipulating the medium of TV than any White House team since that of John Kennedy. “And that was a media universe so different in the early 1960s as to make comparisons almost meaningless…,” he qualified.

When President Barack Obama famously charged Fox News with never having anything positive to say about his administration, Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto took the lead in the offensive, challenging: “If you dismiss us, why do you keep talking about us? If you’re so powerful, why do you sound so petty?

“And if you remind folks that you are president of all the people, which you are, why ignore those who challenge you, which you do?”

Members of the cast of “Fox and Friends” also got in on the act.

On the morning following the Obama jab, Steve Doocy explained: “We were just balancing things out. When you watch the other news channels you don’t hear a lot of the criticism.”

For her part, Fox and Friends’ Gretchen Carlson was somewhat kinder as she and her cronies discussed the Obama dig, saying for the President’s benefit, “We have an open seat for him.”

The controversy between Fox and the President got underway when CNBC’s John Harwood asked Obama about the perception that he has enjoyed an easy and friendly relationship with the press.

Obama disagreed saying, “I’ve got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration…That’s a pretty big megaphone. You’d be hard pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front.”

Obama did not disagree when Harwood suggested that he must be talking about Fox.

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