Feature

Jake Tapper's Fox News defense

Will other news outlets side with Fox as it faces White House criticism?

The backlash against the White House's attempt to intimidate Fox News has begun, said Steve Krakauer in Mediaite. ABC's Jake Tapper grilled President Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, in a Tuesday briefing, asking him why it was appropriate for Obama aides to say Fox is not a legitimate news outlet. The White House is clearly on a "dangerous path," as Tapper's pointed questions won't likely be the last (watch a Fox News report on Jake Tapper's Fox defense).

Where was Jake Tapper, said Steve Benen in Washington Monthly, back in May 2008 when the Bush administration was doing the same thing to MSNBC, accusing it of "blurring the lines between 'news' and 'opinion'"? And where was The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus, who is calling the Obama White House's treatment of Fox News "Nixonian"? The Bushies' complaints against NBC News were "baseless, especially as compared to Fox News'" blatant parroting of Republican talking points—but nobody called George W. Bush "Nixonian."

It's certainly fair to say that MSNBC—and The New York Times and Drudge—are "not neutral," said Mickey Kaus in Slate. So in that respect they're like Fox News. But at least they're independent—the Obama White House can't tell the Times editors what to do. But Fox is run by Roger Ailes, and "I have zero faith that Ailes is independent of the Republican Party." That's why the biases of other news outlets "don't bother me," and why Fox's bias does.

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