This blog isn't political, as I've discussed before. (June 21, 2009, for starters)
Just the same, America's leaders are chosen by a political process. What they believe and what they do affects the war on terror. And, discussing what they apparently believe will, at times, seem 'political.'
I'm concerned about what an interview with White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, on CNN's "Reliable Sources" showed.
"Everybody knows" that FOXNews is an arm of the Republican Party, that it never covers Republican scandals, and so forth. As long as "everybody" is the people at a Starbucks in lower Manhattan, or the faculty lounge of a college, that's not so much of a problem.
When the member of the White House staff - speaking, apparently, for the White House - believes that this is true, that could be a problem. Particularly when she refers to facts which aren't so.
"Anita Dunn: Fox News Is 'Research Arm of the Republican Party' "
PoliticsNewsPolitics, YouTube (October 11, 2009)
A transcript of part of that interview, about 4:45 to 5:31 and 5:35 to 6:10:
Anita Dunn:Limiting her sample of Fox News Sunday to "in the year 2009" was smart. And, she may be right about that.
"...and I told Major [Garrett] quite honestly that we had told Chris - Wallace - that having fact-checked an administration guest on his show - something I've never seen a Sunday show do - and, Howie, you can show me examples of where Sunday shows have fact-checked previous weeks' guests and I'd be happy to see those - We asked Chris for an example where he had done that to anybody besides somebody from the administration in the year 2009, and we're still waiting to hear from hear from him. When they want to treat us like they treat everyone else. But let's be realistic here, Howie. You know, and they are, you know, they are, they're widely viewed as you know, part of the Republican Party. Take their talking points, put them on the air; take their talking points, put them on the air, and that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is...."
Asked for a clarification:
"...I'm not talking about people like Major Garrett, I'm talking about the overall programming. [Howard Kurtz: "Okay"] For instance, Howie, The New York Times had a front-page story about Nevada Senator John Ensign. And the fact that he had gotten his former chief of staff a job as a lobbyist. Then helped those clients. His former chief of staff's wife was somebody Ensign'd had an affair with. [Howard Kurtz: "An important story"] Right. Now. Did you see coverage of that on Fox News? I'm not talking Glenn Beck, I'm not Sean, I'm not talking The Factor, I'm talking about Fox News. [Howard Kurtz: "I will have to check on that. I I assume you know the answer."] ..."
(CNN's "Reliable Sources", via YouTube video: transcribed by Brian H. Gill / Norski)
But comparing The New York Times' cover story of one of John Ensign's scandals to FOXNews, she asked the rhetorical question: "Did you see coverage of that on Fox News?" In context, it's clear that she thinks the answer is "no."
A staunch supporter of America's first Hawaiian president might note that FOXNews didn't cover exactly the same parts of John Ensign's career as The New York Times covered.
As I've discussed before, newspapers and news networks have limited space and time to work with. They can't present everything they know, and have to select what gets published.
From the looks of it, John Ensign has been quite busy, since he went to Washington. With a plethora of scandalous - and probably illegal, even for a Senator - extracurricular pursuits of John Ensign, I'm not surprised that two news outlets failed to present exactly the same selection of naughty behavior.
From the October 19, 2009 post:
And yet, with leadership like this, America endures.
FOXNews Coverage of Senator John Ensign's Scandal (That - According to the White House - Doesn't Exist)I selected the first few Google hits, ignoring a page of links to videos, and a sort of 'where are they now' of politicians caught with their pants down.
- "Former Justice Official: Criminal Probe of Ensign 'Likely' "
Politics, FOXNews (October 14, 2009)
- "Ensign Faces New Troubles Over Extramarital Affair"
Politics, FOXNews (October 2, 2009)
- "Sen. Ensign Admits Parents Paid Mistress, as New Details of Affair Emerge"
Politics, FOXNews (July 9, 2009 )
- "Sen John Ensign's Affair (ugh)"
GretaWire blog, FOXNews (July 8, 2009)
- "Ethics Watchdog Files Complaint Against Ensign Over Affair-Related Activities"
Politics, FOXNews (June 24, 2009 )
- "Embattled Senator Welcomed Back"
The Speaker's Lobby, FOXNews (June 22, 2009 )
- "FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Senator John Ensign In the matter of John Ensign / Ensign for Senate / Battle Born Political Action Committee / Complaint"
Federal Election Commission, via FOXNews (Jun 18, 2009)
- "Aide: FOX News Did Not Tip Off Ensign"
Politics, FOXNews (June 19, 2009 )
- Conspiracy theorists take note: This suggests that
- They brainwashed the aide
- The aide is one of the shape-shifting space-alien lizard people
- Something else
- "Ensign's Ex-Lover Suggests More Details to Emerge"
Politics, FOXNews (June 18, 2009)
- "Sources Say 'Extortion' Threat Was Behind GOP Senator's Admission of Affair With Staff Member"
Politics, FOXNews (June 16, 2009)
- "Sen. John Ensign Denies Double Standard in Larry Craig Flap"
Politics, FOXNews (September 3, 2007)
- Looks like Senator Ensign's troubles didn't start with his mistress, wife, and parents
John Ensign May be Innocent Until Proven Guilty - But His Current Scandal is Certainly on FOXNewsThis is America, so a person is innocent until proven guilty. In courts, anyway. Just the same, Senator John Ensign seems to have cheated on his wife - systematically - and had his parents pay the bill for his extramarital jollies.
Admirable, in a way, keeping it 'in the family:' I get the idea that most Senators use public funds for that sort of thing.
Not that I approve of cheating on your spouse - even if you're a senator.
(October 19, 2009)
- "White House Reporting, John Ensign, Freedom and a Reality Check"
(October 19, 2009)