By Mary Kate Cary, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
My colleague Doug Heye wrote yesterday about White House Communications Director Anita Dunn's recent attack on Fox News. I agree with Doug—the White House should not be going after a specific news outlet as biased. Especially when it's not true. Take a look at a Fox News account that includes this fact:
As for Dunn's complaint about Fox News' coverage of the Obama campaign, a study by the Pew Research Center showed that 40 percent of Fox News stories on Obama in the last six weeks of the campaign were negative. Similarly, 40 percent of Fox News' stories on Obama's Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, were negative.
On CNN, by contrast, there was a 22-point disparity in the percentage of negative stories on Obama (39 percent) and McCain (61 percent). The disparity was even greater at MSNBC, according to Pew, where just 14 percent of Obama stories were negative, compared to a whopping 73 percent of McCain stories—a spread of 59 points.
I'd add this: If you were a reporter at another network, wouldn't the logical "next step" be to make sure your coverage of the president is positive all the time, so that you are not singled out and cut off from further access to the president, as Fox has been? This is what happens when the administration tries to manipulate press coverage. And I think it's safe to say it backfires every time.