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Thursday
Oct292009

Talking to the messengers

In my last post, I wrote about shooting the messenger. Recently, it seemed that the Obama administration wanted to do exactly that to Fox News. Now, however, the administration has decided to talk to Fox News instead. According to an AP report, Fox News Executive Michael Clemente met with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs at the White House to discuss the administration’s complaints that Fox News operated like a wing of the Republican Party. Details of the discussion were not released. But the AP report points out that CNN prime-time host Campbell Brown has suggested that the administration needs to talk about bias on the left as well as bias on the right if it is to have any credibility. For example, do MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow operate as arms of the Democratic Party? Perhaps the news media and the White House both need to draw clearer lines between hard news programs and commentary, or ”infotainment.” At a time when I have met some young people who consider the Onion to be a credible news outlet, we all need to take a hard look at where we get our news. Do our news sources report what is important, or do they merely make important that which they can (or want to) report?  Maybe Obama should sit down with the news execs and talk about it over a bottle of beer.