Over the past couple of weeks, the White House has piled on the Fox News Channel, with a trio of high-ranking administration officials publicly criticizing it, followed by words from President Barack Obama himself about Fox News and topped off with the White House attempting to exclude Fox from the White House press pool. That has some members of Congress questioning why they are doing this..
Earlier, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., took on the issue and defended Fox and its audience. However, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, also took on the White House and questioned why it would be something Obama and his administration should be concerned with in comments from the floor of the House of Representatives on Oct. 20.
"Mr. Speaker, with unemployment at a 26-year high, a record budget deficit and a looming health care bill that punishes taxpayers and bankrupts the government, what is the White House doing? They are attacking Fox News for telling the truth. The White House spokesman says that Fox News is quote, ‘not a news organization,' end quote. We need to fact check the White House on whatever they say about Fox and any legislation since they are not being straight with the American people."
The Texas Republican cited two independent studies that showed Fox News was balanced. One study was by the Pew Research Center about the 2008 presidential campaign and the other from the Center for Media and Public Affairs, which took a look at the run-up to the 2008 presidential primaries.
"Separate studies by the Pew Research Center and the Center for Media and Public Affairs found that Fox News coverage is more balanced than any other network. The White House has no problem with other national news outlets because they offer biased reports and give the administration a free pass.
However, Smith also noted a recent report put out by the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute in July that found stories on ABC, CBS and NBC favored proponents of Obama's brand of so-called health care reform to its critics by a margin of more than 2-to-1 (243 to 104).
"In fact, network news programs have favored proponents of the administration's health care proposal over critics of the plan by a margin of more than 2-to-1, according to the Business & Media Institute," Smith said. "The White House, like the national media, should let the American people make up their own minds - not try to control what they hear."