Obama on Fox News is Smart Politics

An end to Fox wars?

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By Julia Piscitelli, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

If you've been watching Fox News Channel at all over the past few days you have seen a barrage of ads for tonight's airing of President Barack Obama's sit down (read: long) interview with the networks' Major Garrett.

I guess the president never heard the rumor that the White House was trying to squelch Democrats from appearing on Fox. And that's good. That alleged squeeze seemed to only cover "Democratic strategists," the catch-all term networks use for those of us with Democratic Hill, campaign, and/or non-profit backgrounds.

It is best that the Fox freeze out was short lived. I can't imagine those same people would dare call anyone to keep them off of the network after the president himself reverses it. It is bad press relations and the Obama administration has otherwise demonstrated smart communications strategy from the start, so the turn around makes sense. According to swamppolitics.com:

"....White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said Thursday [11/6/09] night that she had checked with colleagues who 'deal with TV issues and they had not told people to avoid Fox. On the contrary, they had urged people to appear on the network, Dunn wrote in an email."

Alas, I didn't make it onto the White House's warning call list. And frankly, I think some consultants are feeling pretty important that the White House calls to threaten them. KTLA.com reports that a Fox Dem contributor who did not receive a call sounded a bit miffed when he postured:

" '[The White House staffers] know better than to tell me anything like that,' "

Wise Democratic Members of the House and Senate have remained regular fixtures on the network. During their campaigns, their media buyers purchase time for their commercials to run on local, state and cable news. You had better believe that Fox News Channel is always at the top of that list because it is the number one cable news station in the country.