The title is a bit of hyperbole, but it makes the point. The Obama administration has gone on the offensive claiming that Fox News is, “the research arm of the Republican party”. This is out of sheer ignorance and a total misjudgment of who actually watches Fox News.
A recent Pew Research poll actually finds that Fox News has done a significantly better job at finding the middle than the other cable news outlets. In 2004, Pew showed a significant conservative bias to Fox’s viewership. Over the last 6 years the numbers have shown Fox’s push for “Fair and Balanced” has attracted liberals and independents as well as conservatives. The recent poll shows the shows that Fox News has attained a more balanced audience than the Obama administration’s chosen favorite CNN.
While Obama may believe that purposefully avoiding Fox News and having his media staff openly criticize the cable news outlet, the astronomical support for Fox News continues to climb. Fox viewers are more numerous than CNN and MSNBC combined and Fox handily outpaces both of its competitors in every single time slot. Bill O’Reilly’s interview of Obama during the campaign was easily the most-informative and was surely the most balanced. Avoiding the most-watched, and certainly the news programming with the most-balanced viewership is a strategy doomed to fail.
Going on Fox would give the administration the chance it needs to persuade those on-the-fence or leaning away from them. Instead, the White House only wants to talk to those that agree with them. Preaching to the choir is for campaigning and Mr. President, that’s one thing you actually did win.