White House demotes “Fox News” to simply “Fox”

January 23, 2015 • 10:45 am

Here’s a video in which Fox newsman Shephard Smith beefs about attending a White House lunch and getting an insulting placecard:

As Reverb Press notes after reporting the outrage of conservative news outlets:

The question isn’t whether dropping ‘news’ from the placecards of Fox anchors is ‘childish’ or ‘petty’. The question is: Why are bozos like Shepard Smith and Bret Baier even invited to a White House press luncheon?

And you remember this from Obama’s State of the Union address?

The gloves are clear off for Obama—or so I hope. Not that this will eliminate the Congressional gridlock during the next two years: given the majority of Republicans in both houses of Congress, there’s little hope of that. Republicans will continue to produce untenable legislation against civil rights, abortion, and national health care, and Obama will continue to veto it.

I’m all for democracy, but it isn’t getting much done in the U.S.  Blame the Republicans and their hatred of the President, a hatred so deep that they can’t even compromise with Democrats.

85 thoughts on “White House demotes “Fox News” to simply “Fox”

  1. First, as is required, I must swear, and affirm that I am no fan of Fox, whether it be News or not. However, as humorous as it is to say “Why are bozos like Shepard Smith and Bret Baier even invited to a White House press luncheon?” it does make me wonder if there is a desire to have no opposition to Democrats and their (always benevolent) plans, or maybe it is only that an adversary we condone is desired, one that doesn’t infuriate us quite as much.
    Oh, and, “I’m all for democracy, but it isn’t getting much done in the U.S.” has, for me, some possibly very dark connotations to it.
    Well,anyway perhaps I’m overreacting just as those people from Fox did, after all, it’s just words.

    1. Who is advocating “no opposition to Democrats”? That’s what the Republican Party is for.

      At issue is the nature of organizations that purport to deliver news. If they become organs of political party propaganda, as Fox has done, they no longer deserve to be called “news” organizations.

      1. Thank you, GB. There’s also the point that so much of Fox’s output is quite simply counterfactual, as witness the “no-go” lunacies of the past week or two.

      2. I believe I was simply ‘wondering’, or maybe commenting upon how the statement read to me. That is, the reffering to these people as “Bozos” and asking why they are invited in the first place. And yes, the issue of organizations purporting to report the news becoming organs for political party propaganda is something we should all keep an eye out for, even if the side we normally agree with is guilty of it. Distorting the facts, telling half the story, and falling back on name calling is never what any news organizations should resort to no matter the agenda.

        1. One of the few journalists at Fox who actually tries to keep it fair is Shepherd Smith. I think Bret Baier thinks he does, and he certainly is closer to Smith than Hannity, but the balance of his guests betrays him.

          When you have someone like Mitch McConnell whose first speech as Senate minority leader in 2008 was to declare the only job for Rs was to make O a one-term president, and a House that does little more than take dozens of votes against the ACA it’s obvious to me which party is the problem.

          However accurate and hilarious it may be, I also think it’s petty and childish to not give the organisation its full name. Sinking to their level imo.

          1. I agree that the Republicans are nothing to write home about, and I, personally, find watching Fox News embarrassing, but I do wish (maybe upon a star for all the good it will do) that they (the Republicans) would stop with all their nonsense, because, I think it is important that even liberals have a well reasoned check on them from time to time.

            1. Who are these liberals you are talking about? In the US there is a moderate right wing party and an extremist right wing party. The system could do with some liberals.

        2. You’re right, “bozos” was out of line. “apparatchiks” is a better, more apt term – one which we should work harder to adopt in English, if only because of Fox “News” requires it.

          1. Yes, perhaps you are correct, and one day, in a future, to us now, unimaginable, school children, well scrubbed, their bellies full, will, with smiling faces, let fly the word “apparatchicks” as easily as we now do “Bozos” Of course, by then Fox “News” will only be a story told, much like Ogres living under bridges, to keep the kiddies in line.

      3. News organizations have always been political. In my youth it was assumed that most newspapers were owned by republicans.

        Now, something like 90 percent of reporters are democrats. I don’t know who owns the papers, but Republicans do not own the New York Times or LA Times or Washington Post.

        Big news organizations generally get caught when they make errors of fact, but not much gets said when they simply neglect a story.

        I have not watched TV news since 1961, when the family TV died for the last time. I don’t get cable or satellite TV and my broadcast reception is intermittent, so I don’t know or care much about Fox.

        But I do know that you can’t get balanced news from one source or one side.

        1. “I have not watched TV news since 1961”

          Evidently this accounts for thinking Fox News is a just a normal reflection of politics in the news business.

          1. You’ll find it at the beginning of the fourth paragraph of your comment. All I did was copy and paste, which I don’t believe is equivalent to making stuff up. Perhaps you didn’t mean what you wrote?

        2. To be more clear, I don’t know what is “normal” in the news business. I follow a number of sites like this one, and sometime browse reddit for headlines.

          I think it would be silly to assume that any news source provides the TRVTH.

          I do have some experience with news stories about things I witnessed or participated in. Nothing political or controversial. I was amazed by the ability or reporters simply to make up stuff. Not vicious or hostile or damaging stuff, just fiction.

          So when I read news, I generally look at how it develops over weeks or months. I don’t trust any breaking news to be accurate.

        3. “But I do know that you can’t get balanced news from one source or one side.”

          Especially true if you only watch Fox News or MSNBC.

        4. News reporting doesn’t require “balance” – it requires reporting the truth.

          The news “counterbalance” to CNN, is not Fox News. CNN is not “liberal”, even if 90% of their on-air talent vote Democratic. It isn’t personal beliefs that make reporting politically biased.

          Sometimes the truth of a story is not “balanced” right in the middle of two perspectives. A “liberal” media wouldn’t give the time of day to a lot of the utterly fact-free assertions made by the asylum that is the modern GOP. Instead, places like CNN opt to bring on operpatives from the Democrats and the Republicans to provide “balance”, and pretend like the truth of any of these claims lies somewhere in the middle.

          A true news network wouldn’t debate the existence of “death panels” in the ACA, for example – it would forcefully point out that the assertion is a lie. Of course, if they did that, they’d be accused of liberal bias. A true news network (and certainly a “liberal” one), wouldn’t have spent hours and hours of airtime talking about the Benghazi “scandal”.

          News reporters should be fearless arbiters of truth, not arbiters of “balance”.

          1. “News reporting doesn’t require “balance” – it requires reporting the truth.”

            Correct. However, news analysis is interpretation of the news.

            1. Correct. However, news analysis is interpretation of the news.

              True. But it should be reliant upon a basis of truth.

              News analysis based on the lie that, say, Birmingham is a no-go city for non-Muslims is not news analysis. (It’s just unbalanced, come to think of it. :))

              1. I was out of the loop on Birmingham so I had to Google the story. You make an excellent point. I avoid inflammatory news delivery. There seems to be two camps at Fox: the inflammatory news hosts – O’Reilly, Hannity, Jeanine Pirro et al., and the calm, thoughtful and intelligent hosts. News (to include news analysis) absolutely “should be reliant upon a basis of truth.”

      4. It goes beyond that, even. The 2004 Florida 13th Ct decision reads “Fox has no legal obligation to be truthful in its reporting. The FCC’s policy against intentional falsification of the news is not a legal mandate, requirement, or regulation and that Fox “News” may falsify news reports.” In my opinion, Fox isn’t a criminal enterprise, but they are certainly morally bankrupt, and those that work there knowingly complicit. Those that watch it are another kettle of fish.

        1. I watch and read multiple sources for my news. I actually find it useful in honing my arguments against the right to watch Fox because I know exactly what arguments they will come up with. Although I don’t understand how they can hold their views when most of them are clearly intelligent, I do understand where they’re coming from because of it. Also, because the interviewers are sympathetic, they get interviews with people on the right that other sources don’t, and they get them to say things they wouldn’t elsewhere. Fox doesn’t see what’s wrong with the comments, but I get to pick up stuff not noticed by others because they won’t watch Fox. They do have some good commenters from the centre and the left too.

          However, there are some on Fox that I just can’t bear to watch because the vitriolic bile against the left and sheer ignorance is just too much.

          1. I have to admire your commitment 🙂 I’m too emotionally attached to my views to maintain any semblance of objectivity. I’m equally frustrated with CNN and PBS. And my Bs filter is plumb wore out almost.

  2. I think it’s appropriate and just a good idea to eliminate news from the name. I’m sure they might feel insulted by that but so what. If you are not journalists you should not get to use the word news.

    Should note – if you had not heard, the republicans, very busy now that their majority congress is in session, withdrew a bill that would stop all abortions after 20 weeks. Apparently some republican women in the congress told them to pull that one for now as it would look bad. Always working on the important issues those guys……

    1. It was a disgusting bill, but it was pulled because of disagreement over a clause. The bill said you could only get an abortion for rape or incest if it was reported to Police. That, thankfully, caused a problem for some.

      Check the stats – these days there’s overwhelming support for a ban on abortions post 20 weeks in America. Unfortunately, a law change may have wide support. Not as wide as some would say though – yesterday I heard Fox’s Dana Perino say, and repeat 2x, that there were “hundreds of thousands” attending the March for Life.

  3. Both sides are so ingrained with really bad ideas that I feel gridlock is a blessing. I would rather nothing get done than really stupid laws being proposed and passed. We don’t need more laws. We need to dismantle the majority of existing laws and government needs to put all efforts into protecting our rights. Our politicians are the not the brightest and smartest in any field and they need to have the most minimal influence over personal lives. They deserve each other and the only upside I see is they provide the lowest level slapstick humor.

    1. We need to dismantle the majority of existing laws and government needs to put all efforts into protecting our rights.

      And how can that happen if there’s gridlock?

    2. I reject the very common claim that both major US political parties are comparably bad, that one is no better than the other. I can’t think of a single relevant metric for which that claim is reasonably accurate.

      In the real world degrees do matter, a lot, and since at least the Republican party of Bush Jr. one of the two parties has been, and is, much worse than the other. It never ceases to amaze me how people can disregard the actual actions and outcomes, the actual data, or don’t even make an attempt to look it up, because of their ideological commitments.

          1. And of course one must ask, “better for whom?”

            There is definitely a wealth demographic for whom the Republican party is in many ways objectively better. Of course their metric is pure self interest. Then there’s another group who are duped into believing the Republicans are better due to irrational and ahistorical views of the nature of America, and because morality issues appeal to authoritarian/Calvinist/puritanical/etc. impulses that are the unfortunate ideology of a large chunk of the non-rich population.

            I agree that when judged from the perspective of who’s better – generally speaking – for the country as a whole, Democrats edge out Republicans. But on an issue-by-issue basis sometimes it’s hard to be sure.

            1. I believe statistically the very rich are mostly democrats. Certainly in terms of campaign contributions and spending that is so.

              1. I’d appreciate some stats on that, because it’s my very strong impression that the opposite is true. Why would it be that at election time the Republicans always have far more money to spend than the Dems?

              2. Because a lot of moderately deep pockets has more money than a few really deep pockets? I did specify the *very rich*, not the local dentist or bank manager.

                Your ‘always’ is wrong too. I just looked at one year right now. In 2014 for example the dems had more donations for senate races, and the reps more for house races. OpenSecrets has a lot of data, and there are other sources.

              3. Because a lot of moderately deep pockets has more money than a few really deep pockets?

                I was thinking of the Kochs and the Walmarts and Trump and gawd knows how many corporations and . . . On the other side you have George Soros and, er, who else?

              4. “I believe statistically the very rich are mostly democrats.”

                Citation needed.

                Also… do you intend “democrats” or “Democrats”?

              5. So I followed your link. I then started playing around with the different views of the information using the clicky thing at the top — choosing the “Super PACs” option, for example — and found that quite often the picture was rather different.

                I was intrigued by the guy at the top of the list, who’s supposedly given $74 million to “liberals and Democrats”. If you go a digging, you discover that his main contributions have been to a group seeking action on climate change. Huh?

                At that point I realized I couldn’t much trust Open Secrets’s categorizations.

              6. “If you dispute the claim, where is your citation?”

                That’s not how the rules of argument work. The person who makes the assertion is responsible for supporting it.

              7. Prevarication realthog. I was specific about individuals. Walmart is not an individual.

                I already linked to the top individual donors. The top 10 are split evenly but the money is heavily dem.

  4. Yes, a real champion of civil liberties is the president. Locking up film makers because of riots in the muslim world, breaking every promise about gitmo, promulgating unending assaults on due process on campus, weaponizing the IRS, shipping guns to Mexican cartels, trying to bust state marijuana legalization, wimping out of Paris rallies for free speech, white-washing Islamic terror, authorizing drone strikes on citizens, expanding NSA surveillance. Let’s hope no-one limits *his* actions.

    I for one am glad to live in a Manichean world where we know all the evil comes from one source, that one group is wrong on every issue.

      1. Refutations please then.
        Spare me matters of opinion please, such as objecting to “weaponizing”, since you said factually incorrect.

        1. The filmmaker was jailed for breaching his bail conditions, not for making a film.

          The inability to close Gitmo is due to Republican legislation making it impossible.

          I don’t know what you are talking about with “promulgating unending assaults on due process on campus”. Evidence please.

          “Trying to bust state marijuana legalization”: the opposite is true. States that haven’t legalized marijuana are complaining about failure to prosecute minor drugs cases. You need evidence for me to accept this.

          He didn’t “wimp out” of the Paris rallies. He didn’t go, which was a bad decision, but given that a lot of the leaders that were there are actually imprisoning and killing journos in their own countries for speaking out, they were a bunch of hypocrites. Further, while they were marching, the US was busy bombing DAESH and Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, which many of those leaders wouldn’t get involved in, so don’t say he’s not standing up to them. The US is doing more than most at the moment. “Wimping out” is an unfair characterization.

          The US doesn’t deliberately “authorize drone strikes on citizens”. They go out of their way to avoid collateral damage. The one US citizen who has been killed had declared war against the US and was planning to bomb it. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but your characterization is OTT.

          The surveillance was expanded by Bush Jr, and Obama kept it. It’s probably the reason your country has been almost free of terrorist attacks since 9/11 despite being the No 1 target of many Islamic terrorist groups. There has never been any evidence than the privilege had been abused, and anyone caught doing that would, I am sure, be in for some very serious consequences.

          Obama isn’t perfect – far from it, but at least have the intellectual honesty to make your criticisms fair.

          1. “have the intellectual honesty to make your criticisms fair.”
            The roolz are not applied against liberals perhaps?

          2. Just as points of logic.

            Breaching bail requires first that you be arrested. How did that happen? Why did that happen?

            You said factual errors. Then you cite opinion.

            I cited marijuana links already, and marijuana prosecutions.

            Assaults on due process include some title IX actions and “yes means yes”.

            “The US doesn’t deliberately “authorize drone strikes on citizens”.” Perhaps you are confused with the difference between authorize and carry out. One is a legal precedent which can hardly be spun as a victory for civil liberties. http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-when-its-okay-to-kill-americans-drone-strikes-2013-5 Even Obama acknowledges what you won’t.

            The NSA PRISM as one example has expanded since 2007 and 2008.

            You cannot just blame republicans for Gitmo when Obama had democrat majorities in both houses. Further many steps could be taken without congress.

      2. There’s quite a bit of equivocation here and some valid points, but I’m particularly interested in the weaponizing the IRS claim. Should I be fearful that they are going to take me out Capone style?

          1. I am familiar with these stories. Weaponizing is a rather strong word for this though, unless we’re going to apply it to all the Government agencies that invade our privacy. I’ve been no fan of the increased surveillance since 9/11 that’s been approved by both the Bush and Obama administrations, but I’d hardly say they’ve weaponized the NSA. Violated the 4th Amendment countless times against ordinary citizens? Definitely. But, I’m not inclined to think there’s a discernible difference between the two major parties when it comes to corruption. It is rampant throughout, and that link is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

            I’m also no fan of our current tax code which leaves open potential abuses from both the civilian and Government sides.

  5. What do you expect?

    I guess sending the DOJ to spy on and harass Fox reporters (Google the Rosen case) means they don’t like Fox.

  6. “I’m all for democracy, but it isn’t getting much done in the U.S”
    That is because the US is no democracy: House District boundaries are so gerrimandered that they actually make a Republican majority in the House a certainty.
    Proportional representation for the House!

    1. You are correct…not a democracy and never was. It is a republic. In a republic, thank goodness, the minority rights are protected, at least on paper. In a democracy, you are on your own. 51% tells the rest what to do.

      Just a refresher for all those fans of democracy out there.

      1. In a republic, thank goodness, the minority rights are protected, at least on paper. In a democracy, you are on your own.

        I’d be interested in an example or two of modern democracies where this applies.

        51% tells the rest what to do.

        Better than it being 1% telling the rest of us what to do? 🙂

        1. I cannot think of any today that would be called a democracy. Usually if you have one it will soon be gone because they really cannot function.

          The 1% is probably closer to what we have today for sure. It would be an Oligarchy.

    2. That’s precisely the reason. It cuts to both parties but with the current layout, much more so to the Republican side. There’s no reason to compromise when you are in a gerrymandered district where 80% of the people voted you in specifically to not compromise.

        1. Yes, this is what I meant when I said it cuts much more to the Republican side–they have a distinct advantage. But, it also helps no one in when a democratic district has an 80% majority. For one, as the article you link points out, there is a stark ideological divide and these overwhelmingly Democratic districts still feel the sting of racism that pervades this country. The Republican voters have no desire for their representatives to reach across the aisle. On top of that, the Democratic representatives have no real incentive to be held accountable either, they’re winning re-election regardless.

  7. I think Shepard Smith is being unfairly maligned. The bulk of my news viewing comes from CNN, but I watch Smith daily and have for more than a decade. Smith is fair, FUNNY, accurate and he gets the news right. I have also watched Bret Baier and find his coverage fair as well although decidedly Republican and not impartial. Like illimitableoceanofinexplicability above, I feel it necessary to tack on a disclaimer: I am socially liberal and an Independent. Fox has some inflammatory hosts, but it also has some calm, thoughtful and intelligent hosts. Whether you agree with their viewpoint, Fox *as a whole* IS news.

    1. “Fox has some inflammatory hosts, but it also has some calm, thoughtful and intelligent hosts”

      Sorry, if Brett Baier is the best you got, then you cannot support this claim. Who are these so-called calm, thoughtful and intelligent hosts, on Fox?

      1. Yes, Bret Baier is the best I’ve got. If you don’t happen to agree with him that does not make him any less “calm, thoughtful and intelligent.” It just means you don’t agree with him.

        1. If you don’t happen to agree with him that does not make him any less “calm, thoughtful and intelligent.” It just means you don’t agree with him.

          What I find genuinely disturbing is that we’ve all — as you have here — come to accept that it’s okay for the personal views of a newscaster or political commentator to color their presentation of the news. It’s not so very long ago that we expected these journalists to use their very best efforts to present an impartial, unspun version of the news. And I think that that’s what we should continue to demand.

          1. A lot of ‘news’ on TV today is not news of yore. The shows we are referencing are news analysis. It’s not the same format as Scott Pelley or David Muir. As I enjoy a wide spectrum of viewpoints I will continue to sample Fox News. I guess that explains why I am an Independent. 🙂

            1. The shows we are referencing are news analysis.

              Sorry: I should have made myself clearer: I should have said something like “newscaster or political commentator”.

              Time was we expected “news analysis” to, y’know, analyze the news; we didn’t expect it to be a spin exercise (or, in the case of Fox, something beyond that). In any piece of honest “news analysis” the personal views of the journalist should play no part.

              To give an example from the UK: One of the scourges of politicians of all stripes used to be a journalist/interviewer called Robin Day. When he finally retired, it emerged that all these years he’d been a Tory. A nation was thunderstruck (to coin a headline): for decades none of us had known he had any political allegiance whatsoever. And that, I think, is the way it should be for any journalist who claims to be a professional.

              1. I personally have a strong preference for straight-up news delivery without any spin so I appreciate your point. But, there is a place for news analysis, and sometimes (SOMETIMES) some well placed passion, excoriation and looks of consternation can also be appreciated.

  8. “Why are bozos like Shepard Smith and Bret Baier even invited to a White House press luncheon?”

    If you follow the money, the Koch Brothers.

    What do I win?

  9. Blame the Republicans and their hatred of the President, a hatred so deep that they can’t even compromise with Democrats.

    To paraphrase one of Sacha Baron Cohen’s characters, “Is it coz I is black?

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