Obama Blasts Fox News: 'I've Got One Television Station that is Entirely Devoted to Attacking My Administration'
You can't be loved and adored by everybody, but if you're President Barack Obama and it concerns the media, you can come awfully close.
In an interview on CNBC's June 16 "Closing Bell" with the network Washington correspondent John Harwood, Obama reflected on the media coverage he has received to date. Harwood asked the president to respond to the claim that lack of media criticism has allowed him to "hurt" the country.
"When you and I spoke in January, you said, I observed that you haven't gotten much bad press," Harwood said. "You said, ‘It's coming.' Media critics would say not only has it not come, but that you've gotten such favorable press either because of bias or because you're good box office that it's hurting the country because you're not sufficiently being held accountable for your policies. Assess that."
Obama dismissed that assertion and claimed one station was devoted to "attacking" the Obama administration:
"It's very hard for me to swallow that one," Obama said. "First of all, I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration," he added, chuckling.
"I assume you're talking about Fox," Harwood replied.
"Well, that's a pretty big megaphone and you'd be hard-pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front," Obama said.
However, it hasn't gone completely unnoticed by Obama to date. Earlier this year at the White House Correspondents Dinner, he had joked about his coverage - that of Fox News and the rest of the media.
"Most of you covered me; all of you voted for me," Obama quipped on May 9. "Apologies to the Fox table."
According to the president, he has made a tremendous effort to be accessible in the wake of some of the decisions his administration has made running the country.
"I think that ultimately my responsibility is to provide the best possible decision making on behalf of the American people at a time where we've got a lot of big problems," Obama said. "And, you know - we welcome people who are asking us some tough questions and I think that I've been probably as accessible as any president in the first six months - press conferences, taking questions from reporters, being held accountable, being transparent about what it is we're trying to do."
In fact, Obama has been so accessible he is allowing ABC News to broadcast its flagship news program, "World News with Charles Gibson," from the Blue Room of the White House on June 24 in addition to a primetime special "Prescription for America" originating from the East Room. Obama credited that accessibility for the "generally positive" coverage he has gotten from journalists.
"I think that actually the reason that people have been generally positive about what we've tried to do is they feel as if I'm available and willing to answer questions and we haven't been trying to hide the ball," Obama said. "I do think that we can't be complacent and that as long as we've got these tough problems in place that not only journalists, but the American people are going to keep on asking whether or not we're delivering and they understand it's not going to take us just a few months to get out of the hole that we're in."
However, the president predicted he would face tougher coverage "as time goes on."
"But, you know I suspect as time goes on, with high unemployment, the economy's still slow - that you know people are going to be continuing to expect results and I welcome that," Obama said. "That's why I took the job."