'Morning Joe': With Fox Feud, Administration Really 'Playing' Rest of Media

And you thought President Obama just didn’t like Glenn Beck. According to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, the administration’s repeated attacks on Fox News are an attempt to send a message to the rest of the news media: “Fox isn’t a real news organization, so the stories it generates aren’t real news.”

The Oct. 21 “Morning Joe” reported on an exchange yesterday (noted on Newsbusters by Noel Sheppard) between ABC Chief White House Correspondent Jake Tapper and White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs, in which Tapper asked whether it was “appropriate” for the administration to be deciding what news organizations are legitimate.

“I think Jake Tapper was onto what we got onto yesterday morning, because we’ve been having this debate: ‘Does this make sense for them to shoot down at Fox News?’” said host Joe Scarborough. “No it doesn’t if your target’s Fox News.”

But Fox, Scarborough said, is not the target. “The White House isn’t attacking Fox news to attack Fox News. They’re playing the media. They’re saying ‘Please, don’t follow the ACORN stories. Don’t follow the Van Jones stories. Don’t follow any stories they bring up because they’re not a news organization.’”

The White House, Scarborough warned, needs to be careful because there could be “a big pushback.”

Guest Katty Kay of BBC World News America also questioned the strategy, saying that it might be a short-term sop to Obama’s left-wing base, but it may end up alienating the independent voters that helped elect the president.

Despite disagreement from co-host Mika Brzezinski, guest Mike Barnicle echoed Scarborough’s take. “What they’re really trying to do,” he said, “is have the editorial pages from the Times and reporters from the post sit there and think ‘You know we’re not gonna follow that story cause it came out of Fox.’ That’s not going to happen.”

Matthew Philbin
Matthew Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture