It’s really not news — it’s pushing a point of view.

When I read that I thought that yet another important political figure had grasped the truth about the BBC. That it was said by Obama’s chief adviser David Axelrod was even better. I know Axelrod is essentially a Daley machine hack from Chicago but he was the mastermind behind Obama’s meteoric rise from obscure non achieving, inexperienced, state senate placeman to Saviour of the World in five years so he must have his finger on the pulse.

But then the penny dropped. He wasn’t talking about the BBC – he was fingering Fox News (or the right wing Fox News as the Guardian likes to call it.)
Apparently the White House feels that Fox, unlike ABC, CBS, NBC and the other cable channels CNN and MSNBC is not being particularly helpful to the President. In fact Axelrod accused Fox of having a “perspective” and I doubt he meant it was leftward.

Now for an administration to come out so openly against a major media outlet is unprecedented – imagine the furore if George W Bush had made a similar remark about MSNBC. Yet the rest of the US media have been strangely muted about the whole affair as has the BBC….I wonder why?

The one honourable exception has been ABC’s Jake Tapper who tackled White House spokesman Robert Gibb. Gibb bumbled away in his usual Oliver Hardy manner – and the rest of the media sat on their hands.

Fact is, of course, that from fairly early in the Democrat primaries the networks and CNN and MSNBC were in the tank for Obama and gave him a very easy ride and continue to do so – for the moment. They invested so much capital in pimping the product that to take him off the shelf so early would destroy the little credibility they might still think they have. Axelrod is irritated by not having a full house hand. Fox is the one channel that has refused to worship at the Obama altar and the administration doesn’t like it.

So – is it just sour grapes? Of course not – Axelrod is an old Chicago hand. You don’t worry about not being liked in the Daley universe – but you do worry about the numbers..and Fox has the numbers, surging far ahead of the other cable channels. Fox has power and therefore needs containment in case the others are tempted to leave the temple and follow a similar path.

Actually there has already been a mild attempt to show a degree of buyer’s remorse on a recent edition of NBC’s Saturday Night Live – yes that SNL where Tina Fey was encouraged to poke fun at Sarah Palin week after week during the 2008 campaign and not only revived her flagging career but won several awards for service to the cause. SNL did a very feeble skit on Obama with a mock report card which appeared to suggest that the man had spoken brilliantly but actually achieved very little.

Axelrod was not best pleased so within hours someone had a quiet word with CNN because they actually presented an item which fact checked the skit and “proved” that SNL were not being fair!

No danger of anything like that over here, thank goodness. As Dan Hannan remarked to Fox’s Glenn Beck (the tearful Glenn Beck as the beautifully balanced Matt Frei calls him) the idea that any right winger would be allowed a permanent slot on the BBC would be laughed out of court…..

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  1. james caine says:

    Fox News just wipes the floor with the other US networks. Pity there’s nothing like it here.


  2. Martin says:

    Yes this Fox thing has been building in the states for some time now. Barry is just making himself look an utter twat. No shock there I guess.

    Did you also see some Obama droid having a go at Fox when they asked why they couldn’t see prisoners when they were at a visit to Gitmo? Sneering Obama droid commented to the effect that only Fox had a problem.

    funny that during the Boosh years all the leftist media (especially the BBC) whined like hell that the administration wouldn’t give them access to Gitmo prisoners.

    Apparently the access was stopped by Obama after some Chinese Muslims had some signs made calling Barry a Socialist!!!

    Oh dear we can’t have anyone calling him that can we!!!


  3. Mailman says:

    The word on the street is that this is containment, to stop news stories Barry doesnt want you to hear about crossing over from Fox to the other outlets.

    So, the WH is trying to create a “ewe, dont touch them they are icky” atmosphere around Fox so that the other MSM dont pick up stories from them when Fox does what journalists are supposed to do, dig for the real story!

    Although having said that, not sure why given the complete lack of coverage of Van Jones, Acorn, commie sympathisers and so on from the MSM outside of Fox.

    Perhaps the funniest thing here though is how the BBC…supposedly the worlds premiere news reporting organisation has not only completely missed the boat…but also the ocean the boat sails upon when it comes to covering anything that dares ask real questions of the bringer of light!



  4. james caine says:

    “FOX News demonstrates, once again, why people are flocking to watch its programming and why angry viewers are fleeing far-left outlets like MSNBC.”


  5. Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

    the idea that any right winger would be allowed a permanent slot on the BBC would be laughed out of court…..

    quite rightly. likewise, the idea the BBC should give a left winger a permanent slot would be laughed out. Glenn Beck and his type would not make the BBC or sky because they are opinionated tv hosts – not journalists. They dont present or analyse news – they offer their opinion, in a loud and brash way that appeals to a lot of people. Good for them, not my thing but I’m glad others enjoy it. The problem I have is that Beck,O’rielly etc pretend to be impartial non-biased journalists – when everyone knows they are nothing of the sort. I say stop pretending and just openly admit they present a right wing opinion fest. I,and many others, would respect that honesty. We don’t need that angry-man-shouting-his-opinions down the TV in this country as it lowers the tone of the debate. Discussion of political issues in America has been declined for decades now as a result of this sort of tv (CNN and others are equally guilty). American politics has begun to ignore issues completely, and focus purely on opinion dressed up as reporting, and the focus on personalities has driven that into overdrive.


    • james caine says:

      Of course nobody would be “opinionated” if they were left wing. Glenn Beck is an entertainer, he doesn’t sell himself as a reporter. Lefties always make this mistake.


      • Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

        Exactly, an entertainter. And would you like to see BBC/Sky use ‘entertainers’ like him on our channels? If so, what would he bring to the political process? In America, people like him bring nothing to politics except division and opinion. They make no attempt to seriously discuss issues, to provide a non-biased approach to topics. They just spill their guts out. As I said, that’s all fine as long as people enjoy it and some commercial channel pays for it. But what would that sort of thing contribute to British journalism? I don’t think it would help one bit – the last thing I want to see is the British media trying to become even more like the American one.


        • John Horne Tooke says:

          But your quite happy to see “entertainers” like Brigstock and his kind spouting left wing political propaganda disguised as “comedy”


    • Martin says:

      Have you EVER listened to Richard Bacon, Nicki campbell or Gabby Logan? and you don’t think left wingers get employed on the BBC to promote THEIR views?


  6. George R says:

     Glenn Beck (Fox News, video); “Freedom of Speech is under attack”



  7. Willy says:

    “Tina Fey was encouraged to poke fun at Sarah Palin week after week during the 2008 campaign and not only revived her flagging career but won several awards for service to the cause.”

    Er, what? Revived her flagging career? Tina Fey’s show 30 Rock (of which she is the creator and writer) has been winning a whole bunch of awards the last few years, and she’d won individual awards as an actress for it that year before even doing the Palin stuff. Is that your idea of a flagging career?


  8. Bob says:

    And the relevance to the BBC is…?


  9. Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

    Remember, when discussing fox news, that the channel gave Bush an easy ride on a number of issues for years. Ex-press officers from that era have spoken about getting friendly interviews and favourable coverage. The media is too close to politicians in general these days – it’s the same for left and right, and is more a failing of the system than any individual.


    • Martin says:

      Utter utter crap. Sometimes you really do make a twat of yourself. Fox News broke the Bush being a former alcoholic story, i can’t imagine MSNBC, CNN or CBS breaking a similar story about Barry.

      Fox  hammered Bush over the bank bail out and the stimulus package. There are plenty of democrats that work for Fox, unlike the BBC where playing spot the Tory is like playing spot the mini skirt in Kabul.


      • Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

        You live in a very peculiar world Martin. If you ever watch the American news channels you’ll see they criticise Obama/democrats all the time.

        Interesting that you talk about Richard Bacon and Nicky Campbell a lot – are they really regarded as the standard bearers for the BBC for you? To you they seem to be the only BBC presenters worth discussing. Maybe you should listen to Nick Robinson, or Evan Davies – equally popular figures. Are they spreading left wing propaganda? Hardly.


  10. George R says:

      The BBC, paid for by the British licencepayers, is too politically close to the Labour Party in Britain, and to the Obama administration in America.


  11. Mailman says:


    The difference is, Fox, unlike al beeb, has to compete on the open market for its revenue.

    AND, Im pretty sure GW, if he had targetted any of the lefty alphabet news outlets like the White House has, would have caused no end of ruckus from the other lefty alphabet outlets!

    There is a very good reason why Fox is the MOST trusted news organisation in America, because they will give you both sides of the story, not just the one the left wants you to hear.

    The White House should spend more time governing and less time worrying about what others are saying about it. Because right now all the White House reminds me of is a bunch of cry babies 😀



    • Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

      You can’t say Fox is the most trusted news network in America – it’s a completely impossible statement to measure. According to tv ratings it is certainly not the most watched tv news channel. Also, it’s appeal (due to it’s obvious political slant) is mostly limited to those who share conservative values.


      • Martin says:

        Again utter utter crap, where do you get this garbage from, the cocaine queue at BBC TV centre?

        Fox News has the highest news ratings of any cable news outlet, here is a link to an article in the huffington Post, hardly a supporter of Fox.

        Fox News Dominates 3Q 2009 Cable News Ratings

        If you can’t post anything sensible, don’t bother at all, stay in the Cocaine queue at the BBC, you clearly need as fix.


    • Tarquin says:

      So being the most trusted news source means they’re doing a good job, and is a perfectly valid defence to use?

      Guess who the most trusted news organisation is in the UK…


  12. Asuka Langley Soryu says:

    Yeah, a Fox News UK would really mix up the left-wing broadcast news monopoly. 


  13. Marky says:

    Good post David, I was wondering if it had been noticed on B-BBC. 
    I suspect the BBC haven’t noticed a great deal about the Obama administration… Or rather they bury it. 


  14. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Fox News is not the official state broadcaster of any country.  It does not have an historical, generational relationship with the public.


  15. Paddy says:

    Bacon Campbell Logan et all work for Britains 2nd biggest talk network radio. They carry over 2/3 of the listenership of radio 4  
    and broadcast to over 6 million.  
    They have significant power and an obscenely large budget when compared to their independant rival talksport.  
    They get free advertising on beeb tv channels they have enough of our cash to have reporters at every premiership and most championship games something the independant sector would find it hard to fill.  
    They continuously spout islington left propoganda only breaking for the footy. They have one vaguely centrist/right of centre presenter and he gets the nightshift when no one is listening,  
    The workers collective that are the primetime teams for 5 are all totally biased.Never asking one probing question of labour politicians and giving the liberals a free ride yet always having a right good go at the nasty tories.  
    Bacons love of the obamessiah borders on obsessional  
    I much prefer talksport but even if I didnt like talksport at least they would cost me nothing. I pay Nicky the Pricky and coke boys wages

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