New White House Documents Show Anti-Fox News Bias

Documents obtained by Judicial Watch are latest sign of rocky relationship


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 14, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: Throughout President Obama's two and a half years in office, it has sometimes gotten personal between the White House and Fox News. You may remember the White House denied Fox News access to financial czar Ken Feinberg until other media actually complained on our behalf. In September 2009, President Obama gave interviews to all the networks except FNC. That angered Chris Wallace among others.

Now new documents have emerged that seem to prove the White House doesn't like FNC at all. Documents were obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request and state the following: that on October 22, 2009, the White House director of broadcast media said: "We'd prefer if you skip Fox, please." The next day, another White House communications worker wrote: "I am putting some fish in the Fox cubby, just cause." Also, on October 23, 2009, deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest wrote: "We have demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude Fox News from significant interviews, but yesterday, we didn't."

Today Jay Carney responded:


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No one at the White House, either a current or former employee, ever placed a dead fish in the Fox News cubbyhole, which I know is a suggestion. I can also say that it is well-known that at the time there was a dispute between Fox News and its coverage and the White House and its feelings about the coverage. I mean, that was then and, you know, we, obviously deal with Fox News regularly. I call on you regularly. We give interviews to Fox News, including to Bill O'Reilly.


O'REILLY: As well they should. Joining us now from North Carolina, analyzer/purveyor of, Bernie Goldberg. All right, they are saying it's all in the past, and that's what Mike Clemente, the senior VP for hard news here at Fox, says our relations have improved with the White House. You say?

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. It may be. I say "may" because I think if it suits their purpose down the road to start the war going again, they probably will. But I'm willing to accept that we're looking at this through the rearview mirror; that this is history. But still, Bill, the e-mails that were just released tell us something important, tells us that these politicians in the White House are willing to look you right in the eye and lie to you. Now, they are not the first politicians who lie, but this was supposed to be different.

Barack Obama told us when he was campaigning that this would not be politics as usual if he was elected. Well it is politics as usual, or at least it was. Second thing is they are not the first administration to go to war with the news media. But I don't think this administration wants to be compared to Richard Nixon. That's not a good PR move. The third point is that somebody needs to tell Barack Obama, if he hasn't figured it out already, that he is not the mayor of Chicago and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue isn't City Hall. When you are in the big leagues, you act it. You don't go to war with a cable news operation. And the final point is -- this is so hard to understand -- what is it about these supposedly sophisticated people who are either unwilling or incapable of distinguishing between news and opinion? Listen, if they don't like the partisans on the opinion side, fine. Stiff them. Don't give them anything. There is no problem with that. But Bret Baier, Chris Wallace? These are serious journalists. On this program every night of the week there is somebody on this side of the issue and somebody on that side. Earlier in this show Krauthammer comes at the issue from the right. The Democratic congressman comes at it from a more leftist position. What is it that these people -- what did they think they were going to gain? I'm putting it in the past tense. I'm putting it in the past tense, Bill, hoping it's history, but what did they think they were going to gain going to war with Fox News?

O'REILLY: Here. I don't know if Barack Obama himself gave the order to ice FNC. I don't know. You couldn't possibly trace it down. But somebody apparently did; somebody in the White House fairly high up. We don't like these guys. They are unfair and unbalanced. And then the lower guys start to do it. That's what always happens. The lower guys pick it up, they want to curry favor with the upper guy. You know how it is in any bureaucracy. That's what happened, and they lost. They got their butt kicked. I wrote about it in "Pinheads and Patriots." That war with the Obama White House was the worst thing they could possibly do because we are on the air 24/7. And if you are going to give us a hard time we're going to spotlight the hard time and you are going to look petty, as you just said. Let's consider one thing. Barack Obama is a man -- I think we would both agree, Bernie and I would both agree -- who doesn't like criticism. He doesn't like it. Would you agree with that?

GOLDBERG: Yes. Most people don't.

O'REILLY: OK. And I don't know -- I don't know too many people -- George W. Bush may have been the exception. He didn't seem to care because I kept asking him. But President Obama doesn't like criticism, takes it personally, doesn't like it. All the other media, major media, I mean, all of them love him. Love him. You just heard Krauthammer say, look, they are going to carry his water on the debt ceiling debate no matter what happens. FNC is a little skeptical in some quarters, particularly in the analysis realm of the president. And so it amplifies it, blows up much bigger than it would be if there were a fair media in America.

GOLDBERG: No. I think that's a correct analysis. The mistake that they made and this is another thing, that you would think these sophisticated people were smarter than this but I'm starting to wonder how smart they really are. It isn't just conservatives who would never vote for Barack Obama who watch this channel. There are many independents who watch. When you go to war with an entire channel, you go to some extent to war with their viewers.

Listen, one of the things that came out today, this is great, one of the things that came out was that deputy communications director writes an e-mail about Bret Baier because he said he did a stupid piece tonight about how we froze Fox out of the pool. We did a stupid piece. They did a stupid piece, but he's a lunatic. Let me tell you something. There may be some lunatics roaming the halls up where you are, but it isn't Bret Baier. If they think that, that shows you how crazy they are.

O'REILLY: Well, it just shows you that once you get that Kool-Aid drinking, I think my direct superior wants me to do bad things. And by the way, I did not get a mackerel from the White House. You know, there were no fish. I don't know anybody that got any fish. But fish are healthy. It could be a good thing they want us to eat healthy by giving us a fish.

GOLDBERG: I'm sure that's what they meant.

O'REILLY: He swims with the fishes, Luca Brasi. Bernie, thank you very much.

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