The other day I listened to some of an interview with Anita Dunn. I loved this bit of Q&A from the audience:
QUESTION: Hi. Yes, I’m Mark Kaiser, and I work for the Freedom Forum here. I just had a question about – back to the FOX issue. I think it’s pretty safe to say that there’s, you know, opinions, strong opinions on both sides at the networks.
My specific question would be if it was helpful to the overall discussion to say that FOX was not a legitimate news organization. Granted, they’re in opposition to a lot of Obama’s policies, and there’s a lot to be said about that, but, I mean, was it helpful to identify them so strongly?
DUNN: You know, it’s – I recommend everybody, if you get a chance to go on YouTube, Jon Stewart actually did one of the most amazing pieces of journalism last week or a couple of weeks ago in which he actually looked at the way FOX, on their opinion shows, raises some, you know, some – some issue that then gets reported on by their news division as, quote, “a controversy,” and then they go find someone to comment.
It wasn’t the only time she plugged The Daily Show’s journalistic genius. I don’t object to criticism of Fox from the left any more than I object to criticism of MSNBC from the right (even if I might disagree on the substance of the criticism). But when the White House communications director wants to justify an effort to delegitimize a major news organization simply because it is critical of the president, she might want to avoid holding up a comedy show as an exemplar of legitimate journalism.