The U.S. White House and Fox News are in a de facto war. Now journalists are talking about whether to deal with the Fox News team as colleagues, or with the whole organization as a political player bent on attacking real fair and balanced journalism …


The American administration has declared a de facto war on Fox News,
which White House officials argue is a political opponent and not a
legitimate media organization. The White House case would be won if, as
the buzz suggested, Fox founder Roger Ailes runs to become president of the U.S. (Or maybe not: he “knows how to win” but “can’t take the pay cut.”)

But after some TV journalists stood up for Fox against the White House boycott, discussion began in journalism circles not just about whether it’s petty politics or a legitimate press rights issue — but  how journalists should treat the controversial network. An example is an exchange on Twitter between ABC correspondent Jake Tapper (quoted as calling Fox a “sister organization” in his defence of it) and Jay Rosen. Rosen to Tapper: “Fox News was founded to de-legitimate what you do …  But you aren’t thinking clearly enough to see that.”

Rosen links to a John McQuaid column in the Guardian
that argues: “Instead of defending Fox News as one of their own, the US
media should join the White House’s war against the network.”

McQuaid
argues, “Clearly “news” is not what Fox is about. Republican media
strategist Roger Ailes, the network’s founder and architect, has run a
brilliant rhetorical game from the start: Fox adopts the outward forms
of the establishment US media and pretends to hew to its standards – in
order to undermine those very things. Fox claims to give its viewers
the straight story, while proclaiming it’s the New York Times and CBS
that are really biased.”

Previous J-Source posts on the White House — Fox news dispute here, and here.

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