Obama Escalates Feud: Administration Attempts to Exclude Fox News from White House Pool
Just when you thought the White House couldn't possibly do anything to make their bizarre feud with the Fox News Channel an even larger spectacle - the administration manages to take it to another level.
Over the past two weeks, three White House officials have publicly criticized the Fox News Channel by denigrating its status as a news outlet - White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. And even the president himself commented on his opinion of Fox News. However, that pales in comparison to the latest petty stunt.
On the Oct. 22 broadcast of Fox News Channel's "Special Report," host Bret Baier revealed a White House pool announcement was offering Kenneth Feinberg, the "Special Master for Compensation," better known as the White House "pay czar" for interviews - all except for one network - Fox News.
"Today there was an announcement by the administration," Baier said. "They were putting out the pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, as we showed you earlier for the White House pool - that Feinberg would be doing a round-robin interviews with the five-network pool that covers the White House - basically shares the costs and the daily coverage duties of covering the president. Fox News has been a member since 1997."
The press pool is comprised of the five major TV news organizations - CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News. However, according to Baier, the other members declined to participate unless Fox News was included.
"When they put out that message, they specified that all members of the pool were welcome except Fox News," Baier said. "Well the other members of the TV pool said, ‘Well we're not going to do the interview unless Fox News is included."
Baier also pointed out how disproportionate the White House press pool's access to the president has been. According to the "Special Report" host, NBC has conducted 12 interviews, CBS with 11 interviews, ABC conducting nine interviews and CNN with seven interviews. But Fox News - a total of two interviews.