Pres. Obama has described Fox News as "operating basically as a talk-radio format" rather than as a "news outlet."
When NBC's Savannah Guthrie raised [in a segment of her extended interview of the president aired on Today this morning] the issue of White House attacks on Fox News, PBO first tried to play the statesman, resorting to the old dodge about "the American people" being more interested in jobs and the situation in Afghanistan.
But when politely pressed, PBO didn't hesitate to fustigate Fox.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Another issue in the news is the news: we asked the president what he thinks about some of his advisers saying Fox News--known for conservative opinion--isn't really a news organization.
GUTHRIE: So you think it's appropriate for the White House to say what is and what is not a news organization?
BARACK OBAMA: I think the American people are a lot more interested in what we're doing to create jobs or how we're handling the situation in Afghanistan.
GUTHRIE: Fair enough, but your advisers raised this issue.
OBAMA: Well, no, I think that what our advisers have simply said is that we are going to take media as it comes. And 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. But it's not something I'm losing a lot of sleep over.
Note how PBO managed a two-fer, taking a simultaneous swipe at Fox News and "talk radio" [and we know whom he's talking about!] But of course the president's not losing a lot of sleep over it. Way too cool for that.
PS: Guthrie slipped in a little editorial comment of her own, saying Fox News was known for "conservative opinion." Well, yes, but also for breaking stories like Van Jones and ACORN that put the Obama admin on the spot.