I was watching The Daily Show and FOX News’ Chris Wallace was the guest. Jon Stewart (of course) was giving Wallace a hard time about FOX hiring Karl Rove, of all people, as a political commentator for the election. Wallace mildly defended Rove and FOX talking about access to the White House and what not and how for a long time the Dems running for president have avoided any debate on FOX. Wallace said Clinton has finally accepted a debate invitation on the network and now they’re waiting on Obama.
During this conversation I wondered how FOX would handle a Democratic Administration. Part of the reason they had so much access to the Bush White House was because they were rarely critical of the president in their coverage and sometimes, flat out, kissed his ass defending his most craptacular policies. But what will they do if a Dem is in office?
I think this is a legitimate question because all of Washington press has to do a little ass kissing to get to the president. And even if you’re a news network with a bold conservative streak you can’t be taken seriously as a news network if you can’t get access. Some would wonder why FOX wants a Democratic Debate on their network so badly but it’s about legitimacy. The rest of the MSM treats FOX like their inbreed, Redneck, Wall Street cousin. The level of disdain is palpable. Plus Democrats feel (and rightly so) that FOX has given them horrendous coverage, making them less eager to talk to them.
What does Rupert do? The Dems hate FOX. The MSM hates FOX. And a Democratic Administration could essentially shower meaty stories and one-on-one interviews o’ affection on the rest of the Washington Press Corps, freeze out FOX and leave them heaving and howling about access.
Because the next White House will be able to tolerate some criticism, unlike the present occupant, but they will not put up with patently uneven coverage. The president can and will kick you off Air Force One.
FOX, O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Rupert et al want to be taken seriously (some of the time) as a legitimate news source. If they can’t get President Obama to come on the Factor, that means the Factor is not legit. So I’m curious how they’ll balance that out if a Democratic Administration comes to fruition.