This New York Times account today confirms that what most bothered the White House about Fox is that it caused inconvenient reporting by other news organizations. Can’t have that! It picks up the story after a meeting between Roger Ailes and David Axelrod:
By the following weekend, officials at the White House had decided that if anything, it was time to take the relationship to an even more confrontational level. The spur: Executives at other news organizations, including The New York Times, had publicly said that their newsrooms had not been fast enough in following stories that Fox News, to the administration’s chagrin, had been heavily covering through the summer and early fall — namely, past statements and affiliations of the White House adviser Van Jones that ultimately led to his resignation and questions surrounding the community activist group Acorn….
“We simply decided to stop abiding by the fiction, which is aided and abetted by the mainstream press, that Fox is a traditional news organization,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the deputy White House communications director. Later that week, White House officials said, they noticed a column by Clark Hoyt, the public editor of The Times, in which Jill Abramson, one of the paper’s two managing editors, described her newsroom’s “insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio.” The Washington Post’s executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, had already expressed similar concerns about his newsroom.
White House officials said comments like those had focused them on a need to make their case that Fox had an ideological bent undercutting its legitimacy as a news organization.
In other words, their problem is not that Fox isn’t a real news organization, their problem is that it is.