White House Puts Fox News in Crosshairs

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," October 12, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: In case you haven't turned on your TV in the last few days or read a newspaper, there is a war going on. But unbelievably, the White House has made the war about the White House and Fox News. They have launched an unprecedented number of attacks on this network. Here is one from Communications Director Anita Dunn.


ANITA DUNN, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I mean the reality of it is that Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party. When they want to treat us like they treat everyone else — but let's not pretend they are a news network the way CNN is.


BECK: Hmm, that's really — that's really weird. Do they know that, like, this show in particular is an opinion show? We get our facts right and we invite them to call us and correct us on the facts. I've heard the "czar" one, and now, the other one about Major Garrett. I'm sorry about those. I'm looking more at the big picture here. I thought they'd call us on that but, no, apparently not.

Dunn has also told The New York Times recently, quote, "We're going to treat Fox News the way we would treat an opponent." Wow, that sounds not only pretty nuts to me, but it also sounds like you're in campaign mode still. Hmm.

Now here with his reaction is Democrat Pat Caddell, former senior advisor to former Democratic President Carter. He's now a Fox News contributor.

Pat, how are you, sir?

PAT CADDELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, Glenn, how are you today?

BECK: Well, I — you know, I went back and looked. And if I may just give you a couple of quotes here from the Nixon days, "Press Secretary Ziegler under no circumstances is to see anyone from The Washington Post nor anyone on the White House staff is to see anyone from The Post or return any calls to them. Just treat The Post absolutely coldly. All of their people are to be treated in this manner."

Nixon on The Post to John Dean in 1972, "The Post is going to have damnable, damnable problems out of this one. They have a television station and they're going to have to get it renewed. The game has being played awfully rough."

I mean, I — I thought this was something that the journalists hated from Nixon and everybody on the left hated, but now, it seems to me that we're doing much, much worse.

CADDELL: Well, as the youngest member of the President Nixon's enemies list, I think I feel like I've been to this dance before.

BECK: You are on the list now two times?

CADDELL: Well, I'm afraid so, apparently. Because, you know — because, you know, the White House ought to understand that when you start going down the road and start calling people opponents and enemies, and start that kind of language and that kind — those kinds of tactics, it leads to unfortunate places.

And look, we have a war going on. We have two of them, in Afghanistan and Iraq. And we have real enemies that are trying to kill Americans. People who disagree with you or challenge or question you are not the enemies. And Ms. Dunn, I have read her comments, not just in today in New York Times, which is played on CNN, but also in Time magazine. They are obviously trumpeting this idea that they are going to make Fox News the enemy, and that they are at war.

Well, let me just remind you that the person you should remember before your time, and you see the young lady, was Chuck Olsen, who was brought in to do a very similar job, apparently, and you might want to consult him about this. This is not the business. And when the government — and what disturbs me is that when the New York Times — excuse me, when the Nixon administration went after The Washington Post stations, which they did, tried to get their licenses, people are challenged.

You know, we've already seen some incidents that are disturbing. We have the energy secretary, you know, openly cheerleading companies to leave the chamber of commerce because they don't like — the White House does not like their policy against the climate change bill, and when they have agencies attack insurance companies or threaten them because their communicating with their members, because they disagree with the health care bill, or when you put the DNC, which is a White House subsidiary, putting up ads calling the people of the United States in August a mob because they are unhappy with what's going on.

BECK: Well.

CADDELL: ...you endanger this process and it's something you should be very careful about.

BECK: Pat, I don't know the actual ratings, but let me — let me give you this. I know a Pew poll says that Fox News audience has the greatest balance of liberals and conservatives and independents out of all of the news channels. I've seen the bars. I mean, the conservative is a little higher, but the other ones are completely out of whack. This one is relatively level for the audience.

I don't know what the actual numbers are. It's around two times the competition or something like that. That — you know, this show, and I think all of the shows on Fox beat all of the other competitors combined, we beat.


BECK: So, they're not saying that we're the enemy. They're saying anybody who watches this network really is the enemy.

CADDELL: Well, this is cutting off your nose also to spite your face. Remember, the people who are watching Fox (INAUDIBLE) are independents and Democrats who are unhappy or got questions or looking for other viewpoints that they're not finding in other places. It is not because they're all right-wing nut Republicans if you look at the numbers.

And also, let me just tell you — they're denying themselves an opportunity. Last week, twice during the news shows, during the day, Amy Klobuchar, the Democratic senator from Minnesota appeared on Fox and was discussing health care and was a very effective and articulate spokesman for that view. They denied themselves and they deny themselves — they themselves an opportunity to persuade.

BECK: Yes.

CADDELL: You don't persuade by threatening, because once you start that, some other people get some other ideas about what they can do. I mean, we're talking about the government here, not a campaign. We're talking about the immense authority and power of the executive branch. And this is not to be played with this way.

BECK: Pat, thank you very much.

CADDELL: Thanks, Glenn.

Content and Programming Copyright 2009 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.