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White House Message: News With a View Bad, Except When It's Not

6:20 PM, Sep 29, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Obama, to Rolling Stone, in an interview released yesterday:

"We've got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints," Mr. Obama said. "I think Fox is part of that tradition -- it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view."

Bill Burton, White House spokesperson, the same day:

"And if you're on the left, if you're somebody like Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow or one of the folks who helps to keep our government honest and pushes and prods to make sure that folks are true to progressive values," Burton continued, "then he thinks that those folks provide an invaluable service. But at the same time, we need to focus our energy and our efforts on the choice that Americans have this fall."

News with a view is not the problem for Obama and the White House. It's not a high-minded yen for objectivity that drives Obama's Fox criticisms, despite his professorial, historical framing of the issue. He simply dislikes one viewpoint, and deems it "destructive" instead of "invaluable."

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