One or two cheers for Fox News

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

 

I'm not really a big fan of Fox News. In fact, I seldom watch it. I might see a few minutes of it if a TV is tuned to the channel somewhere I happen to be, but that's about it. I get my news mostly from reading the newspapers and listening to NPR.

But I feel compelled to say something about the piling on from the White House and various left-wing commentators about how Fox is supposedly not a legitimate news outlet. Recent comments from White House communications director Anita Dunn (the Mao Tse-tung admirer, if you remember that kerfuffle) are typical. "[Fox is] widely viewed as a part of the Republican Party: take their talking points and put them on the air, take their opposition research and put it on the air. And that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news organization like CNN is."

I'm not clear on why Fox is being judged by a standard that's different from the one applied to everyone else. Prime time on MSNBC is filled by left-wing program hosts such as Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. Is MSNBC a legitimate news organization? Is it a wing of the Democratic Party?

I'm also hazy  on why the First Golfer and his minions feel compelled to weigh in on which news organizations are legitimate. Do we really want the White House deciding that for the rest of us?