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.”