A very reliable source tells FishbowlDC that Fox News SVP Michael Clemente met with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs this morning and reached what some are calling a “truce.”
Clemente then met with the FNC Washington bureau and encouraged staff to remain “fair and balanced.”
WH spox Robert Fibbs, er, Gibbs has probably (or will probably) spin this as a “positive development” but in reality I believe this had more to do with Senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett making a complete joke out of herself on CNN last night in an interview with Campbell Brown in which she 1) backtracked on suggesting Fox News was biased, 2) wouldn’t say whether or not she believed MSDNC was biased, and 3) laughably proclaimed that what the WH was doing in waging war with Fox News was, get this, “speaking truth to power”:
A White House aide on Tuesday quickly backtracked on her charge that Fox News was biased after a reporter asked her whether she believed MSNBC was similarly skewed.
“Of course they’re biased,” Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett said about Fox’s coverage, adding that the administration was going to “call them on the carpet” for “all of the distortions.” But when CNN’s Campbell Brown pressed Jarrett to say if MSNBC’s reportage also possessed a political slant, Jarrett revised her original reply: “Actually, I don’t want to just generalize all FOX is biased or that another station is biased.” [Surprise! - ST]
But Jarrett dismissed [the premise that the WH was trying to stamp out dissent] during her interview. She explained the administration was instead committed to correcting the many inaccuracies pervading national debates over such landmark issues as healthcare reform — an effort, she added, that is not exclusively targeted at Fox.
“I think that what the administration has said very clearly is that we’re going to speak truth to power,” Jarrett said. “When we saw all of the distortions in the course of the summer, when people were coming down to town hall meetings and putting up signs that were scaring seniors to death, when we have seen commercials go up on television that are distorting the truth, we’re actually calling everybody out.”
Watch the video here.
Not snickering yet? You will be after you read Toby Harnden’s spot-on take of Jarrett’s remarks:
In the middle of all this patent nonsense, Jarrett blurted out the truly bizarre notion that “what the administration has said very clearly is that we’re going to speak truth to power”. Poor plucky little Barack Obama, United States commander-in-chief and leader of the Free World taking on Goliath. They may still act as if the election campaign is still on but it might be a good idea for Jarrett and Co to reflect that they are power.
As David Zurawik notes: “such a phrase from our collective past that has real resonance because it was once loaded with such intergrity, moral authority and wisdom when first uttered, is cheapened when used in such a blantantly and inappropriate political context”.
Having been comprehensively skewered by Brown, Jarrett looked mightily relieved to be able retreat onto safer ground, such as “how cool is this, to be here with all these terrific women?” at the Women’s Conference in California.
It was such a train wreck of an interview for Jarrett that I’d hazard a guess we might be seeing a little less of her on our screens. Remember, she was the person that Team Obama favoured as the new appointed (i.e. unelected) Senator for Illinois. That was, of course, because she would have been the very best person for the job and nothing to do with the fact that she a long-time Obama family friend.
For much more on who Valerie Jarrett is – beyond what most in the MSM will tell you – read this post Michelle Malkin wrote about her back in July, plus more troubling information here via Director Blue. Must-read stuff.
Oh – and a show of hands on how many believe the war of words the WH has waged against Fox is over now that the so-called “truce” is in place?
I didn’t think so.
Related: ST reader Dana Pico asks a good question: What did Fox give up?