The outgoing administration spokeswoman took a clear and enjoyable dig, first at Sean Hannity for recently airing spliced footage designed to make a crowd of anti-health care protesters seem bigger than reality.
"A fun fact from this week is that an opinion show on a certain news network was using edited footage to make it appear that a rally last week, and political opposition to the president, was much larger than it appeared," said Dunn, during her appearance at the Bloomberg News Washington Summit. "Some of you may have heard about it. The people who went in and did fact checking on that, and actually exposed the spliced edited was... Jon Stewart of the 'Daily Show' on Comedy Central. Well that is where you are getting fact-checking and investigative journalism these days folks. It is a different media environment."
Showing an even greater appreciation for the "Daily Show"'s Fox News fact-checking abilities, Dunn referenced another Stewart triumph later in her question-and-answer session.
"Jon Stewart actually did one of the most amazing pieces of journalism last week or a couple of weeks ago," she said, "in which he looked at the way Fox, on their opinion shows, raises some issue that then gets reported on by their news division as 'a controversy.' ... Now, that's a point of view. That's fine. That's entertainment. It helps their ratings. But I think if you go downstairs and walk through the Newseum that's not traditionally what you think of as traditional news -- to some extent inventing the story."
Approached in the halls outside the forum, the Huffington Post asked Dunn to put Glenn Beck's recent theatrics into the context of her critiques of Fox News's coverage. She chuckled. For the past few weeks, Beck has insisted that the outgoing communications director considers Mao Zedong a political hero and has put a red telephone on his set begging for her to call and explain her political dispositions.
"I think it was news to everybody who knows me," she replied. "You know, most media consultants usually are accused of other things, but that's not one of them."
Last month, Dunn got caught up in a war of words between the White House and Fox News when she made the rather bland observation that the network carries a Republican agenda. On Friday, she was asked whether she considered MSNBC to have a counter-balancing bias -- a common retort offered by Fox's defenders. Dunn replied by noting that for three hours every morning that network handed over its programming to "a former Republican congressman who was a member of Newt Gingrich's revolution": Joe Scarborough.
Elsewhere in her remarks, Dunn acknowledged that her decision to go after Fox News was not an example of her "going rogue." White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and perhaps even the president himself gave her the green light ...
Friday, November 13, 2009
Anita Dunn's Final Parting Shots at Fox News
Sam Stein of The Huffington Post today wrote about Anita Dunn, the outgoing interim White House communications director, and her parting shots at Fox News: