Obama Blasts Fox News, Greta Strikes Back

August 13th, 2008 11:05 AM

Did you know that if you have a negative view of Michelle Obama, it's all Fox News's fault?

Such seems to be the opinion of Barack Obama who told the magazine Marie Claire, "I think that if you've been watching Fox News then probably she's misunderstood, because I do think there's been a fairly systematic attempt by the conservative press to paint her in a completely false way."

Fox News's Greta Van Susteren heard about this statement by Obama, and took issue with it during an interview she did Monday with the magazine's editor (video embedded right, h/t NBer Thomas Stewart):

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Is the FOX News Channel systematically and deliberately painting a false picture of Michelle Obama?

Senator Obama says yes, the Senator slamming FOX News in an interview with the magazine "Marie Claire." Senator Obama said this in part when asked if his wife Michelle is misunderstood-

"I think that if you've been watching Fox News, then probably she's misunderstood, because I do think there has been a fairly systematic attempt by the conservative press to paint her in a completely false way."

We have been trying to get senator Obama here "On the Record" for months. He and his wife Michelle are welcome here any time.

So what is senator Obama talking about? Joining us live is Joanna Coles, the editor in chief of "Marie Claire." She interviewed Senator Obama for the magazine.

It's nice to see you Joanna.


VAN SUSTEREN: Joanna, did he say anything more about FOX News? Was he say specific as to who he has a beef with here?

COLES: No. It was really a much more general attack on the conservative media. He didn't single you out, Greta, but I'm sure you would have been in there.

And he felt very much that FOX had portrayed Michelle as angry and not at all as the woman he knows her, and he felt anxious that he wants people to know that she is actually friendly and really wrestling with the issues that a lot of women in America are wrestling with, namely jobs and family.

VAN SUSTEREN: I guess I am a bit curious that he would, at least for our show at 10:00 that he would think that we had ever said anything derogatory about Michelle. I do not think we have. I would have to go back through.

We certainly have pounded him on Reverend Wright. There is no question about that. But was unable to say-was he the least bit specific so I can go back and try to see what it is that he finds so offensive?

COLES: No, he wasn't specific. He felt it was a general thing by the conservative media, and it slightly was an echo of the phrase Hillary Clinton had used when she said that she felt that there had been a right- wing conspiracy against her husband Bill.

Senator Obama felt but the conservative media, and, in particular, FOX News, was deliberately misrepresenting Michele as angry, and I think that is one of the reasons that they have really kept her back from the current phase of the campaign.

We have noticed that she is much less visible than she was certainly during some of the earlier primary rallies, and she is just much less in evidence than she was earlier in the campaign. And I think that is a shame.

We know that we will see her at the convention, and we are very much looking forward to it. But I think it's a shame that she has not been out there a bit more, and maybe that would alleviate some of the criticisms he has had.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is so interesting is that Michelle Obama, likewise, has an open invitation here. But Senator Clinton, who had that criticism of many in the media, has appeared on this show a number of times, she's appeared with Bill O'Reilly, she's been on with Chris Wallace.

She is not running for cover, and, in fact, it was Senator Obama, I think, who would not even participate in debates here. So, whatever.

Anyway, he does not like us. I got that.

Yep. Must be nice to be able to bash an entire network while refusing to do interviews with those you're attacking. I guess this is a character trait some people admire in a presidential candidate.