Late last month Roger Ailes and David Axelrod met up in a Midtown steakhouse to discuss the War of Petty Bickering and Bruised Egos that Fox News and the White House are currently engaged in. The two spoke about the deteriorating relationship between the network and the White House, including the president’s snubbing of Chris Wallace during a Sunday morning in which he hit all the other major talk shows. Both men left with the knowledge that lines of communications were open and the relationship could begin to mend, slow though it may be. But whatever progress was made that day was derailed over the next few weeks as Fox continued to hammer the administration on issues like schools safety official Kevin Jennings past, and play up non-stories like a video of children singing about the president.
That’s when the White House began its public criticism of the network, unveiling the “not a news network” line of attack. But it wasn’t long before Fox’s media brethren began to stick up for it. Some networks refused to go along with a Treasury Department effort to exclude Fox from a round of interviews with pay czar Kenneth Feinberg and ABC rabble-rouser Jake Tapper asked in a White House briefing about the administration’s treatment of “one of our sister organizations.”
Finally, the latest salvo comes from the president himself. In an interview with NBC yesterday he said of Fox, “If media is operating, basically, as a talk radio format, then that’s one thing. And if it’s operating as a news outlet, then that’s another.”
It’s not much an insult but we can only imagine how riled up they’ll be about this at Fox HQ. Glenn Beck might even cry.