President Joe Biden and his Democrat colleagues are known for treating Fox News as an enemy of their agenda and, by extension, of the American people. But a new report suggested that bluster may be only that as the administration has allegedly been working “behind the scenes” to have their message reach the broader audience of the cable news giant.
With the president’s disapproval rating sinking to new lows, it would stand to reason that the administration would endeavor to push back on any negative press. However, according to the report from Politico, Biden’s team has set about getting their message to audiences on the right of the political aisle for some time now.
“Any given day on foxnews.com, millions of readers see negative stories about the Biden administration’s handling of the economy, crime, immigrations, and Covid-19, among many other topics,” the report reads. “But over the past year, the White House has worked behind the scenes to get more of its perspective on Fox’s website.”
“It’s a valuable audience,” a White House official told Politico. “They’re reaching a lot of eyeballs online.”
The inroads they took included former administration spokesmen meeting with members of the Fox News team to discuss the portrayal of Biden’s agenda. That included former White House press secretary Jen Psaki having a private discussion with Fox News digital chief Porter Berry and former Pentagon press secretary John Kirby regularly speaking with Fox News’ D.C. bureau chief, according to Politico.
As a White House official told the outlet, “we engage with Fox to make sure we’re reaching Fox viewers.”
That engagement also relied on liaising directly with Fox News through one of their reporters. Politico wrote the “administration often turns to digital reporter Brooke Singman with exclusive policies it hopes Fox News readers will see, particularly around issues like crime, law enforcement, and veteran issues, areas where the White House feels it can tweak the narratives that often become cemented among the Fox News audience.”
One such instance was Singman’s recent exclusive on the “National Parents and Families Engagement Council” that the administration fed to the reporter to help its image as parents remain infuriated with woke curriculum across the country.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 14, 2022
The administration also pushed to have op-eds from contrary positions on the site such as one co-authored by first lady Jill Biden on government support for military families and another by former Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) promoting Biden’s pick to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steve Dettlebach.
“It’s an effort to push back on the site’s tone and editorial news judgment,” Politico wrote, “which is molded in the style of a right-leaning tabloid.”
Obama comms director frets over size and scope of conservative media that ‘dwarfs’ progressive counterparts https://t.co/P4UKULIKoy
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) June 7, 2022
Former senior advisor and White House communications director for President Barack Obama Dan Pfeiffer wrote in his book, “Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America,” that “The conservative media dwarfs the progressive media in size and scope. And even then, it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. The bulk of the media on the right is an adjunct of the party apparatus; during the Trump presidency it was state-adjacent propaganda–Pravda, but with plausible deniability.”
He claimed, “Democrats have a much smaller megaphone, and our message is getting drowned out. Republicans dictate the terms of the conversation in American politics and have done so for much of the 21st century.”
While that argument is questionable considering the way in which corporate media operates to maintain the progressive narrative, the administration is at least subscribing to the premise that Fox News controls much of the headlines from the perspective of the right, and they seem to be working toward nudging it in their favor.
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