Destructive Propaganda

￿ Tom Diemer

Published: September 28, 2010

President Obama says Fox News is part of a journalistic tradition of news outlets promoting their political views without apology, but called Fox's political agenda "destructive" even though it has made a lot of money for owner Rupert Murdoch.

Fox News, the president said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, advocates 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."

Obama did not elaborate on the charge that Fox -- which features conservative talk show hosts and commentators -- was airing viewpoints harmful to the nation's growth. But his administration, a target of daily barbs from critics on Fox, has fought back before, even though some White House supporters think it would be better to ignore the barrage.

Obama told Rolling Stone that Fox could be compared to the Hearst empire in the early 20th century, which used its "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 and undeniable point of view."

Fox calls its coverage "fair and balanced."

In the interview, Obama also said he thinks the Tea Party movement, which has received ample coverage on Fox, is a "mixed bag" that is still "defining itself."

It includes, he said, libertarians opposed to government involvement in markets or social issues, along with social conservatives and others troubled by "what they saw as a series of instances in which middle-class and working-class people have been abused or hurt by special interests, but their anger is misdirected.

"And then there are probably some aspects of the Tea Party that are a little darker, that have to do with anti-immigrant sentiment or are troubled by what I represent as the president. So I think it's hard to characterize the Tea Party as a whole," he said.

Editorial: Obama is in fact absolutely correct. Fox News is extremely destructive because the truth is not negotiable.


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