It seems that the moratorium on appearances by White House officers on the Fox News Channel has ended. But high-ranking Democratic officials continue to peddle false information about the cable network, leveling unsupported charges of bias and political favoritism against it.
Noel Sheppard reported last week that Fox Senior Vice President Michael Clemente and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reportedly reached a truce during a meeting at Gibbs's office Wednesday.
David Plouffe all but confirmed the truce when he told The Swamp today that he is planning on promoting his new book "The Audacity to Win" on Fox's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" Thursday night. Plouffe had cut Fox out of his regular network news appearances.
Despite his decision to appear on Fox, however, Plouffe continued to tout false claims about Fox's reporting. He claimed on Sunday's "Meet the Press" that the network "turned into a 24-hour propaganda channel for the McCain campaign, really, in the last 60 days."
But a study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center contradicted these claims. Pew found that Fox was the most unbiased of any of the three major cable news networks during the last six weeks of the campaign.
According to the Pew study, 40 percent of Fox News stories on Obama and 40 percent of those on McCain aired during the final six weeks of the race were negative. By contrast, 61 percent of CNN stories on McCain were negative, compared to 39 percent on Obama. Unsurprisingly, MSNBC had the largest disparity. Seventy-three percent of its McCain stories were negative, while only 14 percent of stories on Obama had negative things to say about him.
It is a relief that the Obama team has ceased its de facto boycott of Fox, but it is troubling that high-level Democrats continue to level these charges of bias against the network, even while overwhelming evidence suggests that the network's competitors have historically been more guilty of political favoritism.
"Meet the Press" host David Gregory did not challenge Plouffe's claims. We will see if Greta Van Susteren does.