On Sunday, two of Barack Obama's top aides took shots at the Fox News Channel. Rahm Emanuel said it was "not a news organization," and David Axelrod said it was "not really a news station." The White House is shunning the network. When the president made the rounds of Sunday shows recently he ostentatiously skipped Fox. White House Communications Director Anita Dunn has called FNC "an arm of the Republican party." Over at Slate, my friend Jacob Weisberg has urged mainstream journalists to avoid appearing on Fox. I think both the White House and Weisberg are making a mistake.
I wouldn't argue that Fox is "fair and balanced." It's a conservative news outlet, and to argue that it's not is ludicrous. That said, there's obviously a spectrum of bias ranging from the straight-style reporting of a Major Garrett at the White House to the rantings of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, and some anchors are more Foxy than others. I like it when Media Matters for America calls Fox on its bias, although it's a little bit like calling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for being anti-Israeli. I don't disagree that Fox News Channel is like the New York Post or The Weekly Standard, which was, until recently, another Rupert Murdoch property.