Anita Dunn Praises Jon Stewart's 'Investigative Journalism', Contests MSNBC's Bias

November 13th, 2009 8:17 PM

UPDATE AT END OF POST: Video of this interview now available.

Outgoing White House communications director Anita Dunn on Friday praised the "fact-checking investigative journalism" skills of Comedy Central's Jon Stewart while she pushed back against any suggestion MSNBC was at all biased.

For those that have forgotten, this is the same Administration official who a month ago said Fox "is not a news network." 

The following is a partial transcript of an interview Dunn did Friday with Bloomberg's Al Hunt (h/t Washington Times):

AL HUNT, BLOOMBERG: Let me ask you about your famous broadside against FOX News. [...]

ANITA DUNN, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I'll give you one fact - actually, fun fact from this week, is that the - you know, an opinion show on a certain news network was using edited footage to make it appear that a rally last week in political opposition to the president was much larger than it appeared.

Some of you may have heard about this. But the people who went in and did the fact checking on that and actually exposed this as kind of spliced edited video that was designed to make it appear that more people opposed the president than really do, the people who exposed this, Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show," on Comedy Central, OK?

Well, that's where you're getting, you know, fact-checking investigative journalism these days, folks. It is a different media environment. And the reality is that, you know, let's face it, you know, we're under no illusions about what the political agenda of, you know, certain news networks are.

And we, you know, will work with them when it suits - you know, when we need to. We obviously have talked to them before. We'll talk to them again in the future. We've never made any secret of that.

But for mainstream journalists, it's important for them to know that when they're following those stories, they may be following, oh, you know, some edited footage or things that really don't stand up to the scrutiny that you bring to a story.

HUNT: Does MSNBC have a political agenda, too?

DUNN: You know, it's interesting, because that, of course, is what gets thrown back. And, obviously, your friend, Karl Rove, who you quoted earlier, declared war on them during the previous administration, and you may recall that FOX actually applauded Karl for doing that.

Now, I will say this: MSNBC has as their host of their morning program a former Republican congressman who was a member of Newt Gingrich's revolution. That, I think -

HUNT: So you think they're different than FOX?

DUNN: Well, but I also think that their opinion shows - their opinion shows absolutely have an opinion -

HUNT: But as a network, they're different.

DUNN: - but I do regard them as different as a network, absolutely.

So, the current White House communications director thinks Jon Stewart is an investigative journalist, and MSNBC is not biased because they've got Joe Scarborough on in the morning.

BUT, Fox is NOT a news network.

Honestly, what ELSE do you need to know about THIS White House?

*****Update: Video of this interview is now available (h/t Story Balloon)...