Obama Called On ABC The Most During First Term Conferences; Fox News Comes In Ninth

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Is there any wonder why the POTUS picked Fox News the least in his first term news conferences?

Ironically, while I’ve routinely avoided Fox News for many years now, I stopped watching ABC after the 2008 debate in which George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson openly hammered then candidate Barack Obama on every question.

Conversely, their questions to Hillary Clinton were softballs in comparison to the questions they lobbed at Obama.

The Huffington Post – Media

In 2010, President Obama said that Fox News had a point of view which was “ultimately destructive” for America. So the findings of a new study about Obama’s press conferences are not too surprising.

The University of Minnesota’s Eric Ostermeier tallied up the number of questions each member of the White House press corp had been able to ask during all of Obama’s first term press conferences. ABC, CBS, the Associated Press and NBC led the pack, with ABC having been selected for questioning 29 times over 36 solo press conferences. (Overall, reporters have had fewer chances to ask questionsthan any White House press corps since Ronald Reagan’s.)

It makes sense that the wires and broadcast networks have had the most opportunities to question Obama. They traditionally are the first to be called on at any press conference, and their reach is bigger than any other outlet.

Bloomberg — whose business-oriented audience would likely be one Obama wanted to target during the depths of the recession — was also a winner, being selected 20 times.

Fox News, though it has a reach that far outstrips its competitors and sometimes rivals the broadcast networks, was in ninth place on the list, having been called on 14 times. CNN, by comparison, was called on 16 times. Ostermeier said the network had been “shunned,” which may be overstating things a bit.

When Obama has called on Fox News, he often winds up verbally sparring with its reporters in one way or another.

NBC’s Chuck Todd and ABC’s Jake Tapper (now at CNN) were called on the most of any reporters — they each got 23 chances to question Obama.

Read the full study here.

White House Praises MSNBC’s Olbermann & Maddow: ‘Invaluable’

Huffington Post

On the heels of President Obama’s criticism of Fox News in an interview with Rolling Stone, his Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton has gone out of his way to praise rival network MSNBC.

The Upshot’s Michael Calderone reports that Burton was talking to a group of reporters on Air Force One when he was asked if Obama felt that people didn’t appreciate or recognize his achievements. Burton said the president didn’t spend time thinking about it, but that he wants people to know that his administration has “done a lot.”

Then Burton praised MSNBC:

“And if you’re on the left, if you’re somebody like Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow or one of the folks who helps to keep our government honest and pushes and prods to make sure that folks are true to progressive values,” Burton continued, “then he thinks that those folks provide an invaluable service. But at the same time, we need to focus our energy and our efforts on the choice that Americans have this fall.”

Obama: Fox News is ‘destructive’ to America

Well, he’s not wrong on  this issue, that’s for sure!


 President Obama is pulling no punches when it comes to Fox News, declaring the cable news outlet to be “destructive to [America’s] long-term growth.”

In a more than 8,000-word interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Obama compared the cable news channel to papers owned by William Randolph Hearst at the turn of the 20th century that unabashedly pushed the media titan’s own political views.

“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,” Obama told the magazine.

Officials in the Obama White House have long made Fox News a punching bag, launching a full blown offensive last year when aides declared the network to be “opinion journalism masquerading as news.” Then-White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said the cable outlet “operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party,” and top aide Valerie Jarret called Fox “clearly biased.”

But the new comments from Obama constitute the president’s most direct attack yet on the network owned by business mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Fox News pushes “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 said.

“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.”

Fox has yet to respond to the president. But during the administration offensive against the network last year, network spokesman Michael Clemente slammed the White House for continuing “to declare war on a news organization instead of focusing on the critical issues that Americans are concerned about.”

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