President Obama has given a lengthy interview to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner for the upcoming issue of the magazine. The cover story is titled “Obama Fights Back” and boy does he ever. At least where Fox News is concerned. Here’s what he told Wenner regarding the network in what I think could be fairly termed a battle cry of sorts:
[Laughs] Look, as president, I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We’ve got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It’s a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it’s been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it’s that Fox is very successful.
Laughter or not, those are fighting words. Saying you don’t love the coverage you get from a media organization is one thing, saying that the most popular cable news channel in the country is “ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country” is something else altogether. Particularly considering many, including Obama adviser David Plouffe, feel that the de-facto heads of the GOP are Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, both Fox News personalities. If this is Obama ‘fighting back’ it’s hard not to conclude Fox News is (once again?) the opponent and not the GOP or any specific candidate therein. Read the full interview here.
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