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Vote for winner: Fox News vs. White House

Posted By Drew Zahn On 11/02/2009 @ 9:32 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled

The White House has taken off the gloves in its battle against Fox News’ perceived critical coverage of the Obama administration, and now National Public Radio is inviting you to vote for the winner of the bout.

The NPR website posted a poll last month called “In White House vs. Fox News War of Words, Who Gets Your Vote?”

Voting options include:

  • “The White House on this one; Fox News isn’t ‘fair and balanced.’”
  • “Fox News on this one; it asks questions others don’t and the White House should be able to handle them.”
  • “Neither side. They’re both trying to play this ‘feud’ to their advantage.”

Already well over a million respondents have voted, and one side of the battle is in danger of being drowned by the response.

Of course, it wasn’t always that way.

The original poll, now posted almost two weeks ago, garnered little attention. Six days into the voting, Tim Graham of NewsBusters reported only a little over 300,000 people had voted, and the White House was in a statistical dead heat with Fox News.

But after NewsBusters, blogs, social media, the Democratic Underground and the Free Republic got wind of the poll, the numbers started to leap.

And they have nearly all leaped one way. With a million new votes added to the tally Graham reported last week, only about 50,000 of the newcomers favored the White House.

The new numbers, as of press time today, show Fox News swamping the White House with over 1 million votes for the news network and roughly 200,000 for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. A scant 19,000 have voted for neither.

NPR blogger Mark Memmott, who originally posted the poll, has admitted he was told a groundswell of Internet chatter among Fox News fans has pushed the poll to its outcome.

“I would like to say thanks to all those who were inspired to vote,” he writes. “The poll touched off a competition. That’s a good thing, in my opinion. These kinds of surveys aren’t meant to be scientific. They’re intended to stimulate discussion and give folks another way to express themselves. We certainly accomplished that.

“Now, can I make a small request?” he added. “Perhaps some who came here to vote and comment could come back on occasion and contribute again to the discussions? We value your input.”

The poll was sparked by comments last month from White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, who told Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post and CNN, “Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party,” and, “Let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”

The icy blast from the White House continued when the administration attempted to block Fox News from a round of interviews with “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg. The other five TV networks included in the White House pool, however, stood up for their snubbed media mate and refused to interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included. The revolt apparently worked, for the White House relented and permitted the Fox News interview.

As WND reported, in a related poll taken at almost the same time from Zogby International–O’Leary Report, a clear majority of Americans view recent actions by Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress as “threats to our First Amendment Rights.”

When asked specifically about the White House vs. Fox News feud, 53 percent of respondents agreed that “this is an attempt by the Obama administration to silence dissent,” while only 40 percent disagreed. Even among Democrats, 48 percent agreed Obama’s staff is trying to suppress dissent in its criticism of Fox News, while only 43 percent of Democrats disagreed.



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