Accuracy in Media

On Wednesday, during an interview with HuffPo Live, former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said that the departure of Dick Morris and Sarah Palin from Fox News signals that the network’s “alternative universe” is crumbling.

DunnDunn created a controversy in 2009 when she told Time magazine that Fox News is “opinion journalism masquerading as news,” and followed that up on CNN by saying that the network “often operates as the research arm of the Republican Party.”

Wednesday’s interview shows that her opinion of Fox hasn’t changed and that she thinks the network is in trouble:

HuffPo: At what point do you make this decision inside the White House, that it’s time to fight back? (Against Fox)

Dunn: Well, I think that it was a simple decision given the fact that Fox News has been the not-so-loyal opposition since the President had taken office. What I said that day was the culmination of months of relentless attacks from Fox News. Where they would take an opinion piece, and then give it to their news division to go get people to respond to it, and then have the opinion people talk about the response and basically create news. And I think what you’re seeing now with Fox is that the alternative Fox universe that they created for four years is crumbling, and Roger Ailes who is nothing if not an excellent television person and very smart executive, is realizing that the creationism of the past has to end, and so you see the Fox evolution.

Dunn and the liberal media have jumped on the fact that Fox hit a 12–year ratings low in January as evidence that Fox is now in decline, despite the fact that it still finished as the number one cable news network with more than twice the total audience of second place MSNBC.

In addition, Fox had the top 11 cable news programs in 2012, not exactly a sign of a network on the verge of crumbling, as Dunn claimed.

As for the departures of Palin and Morris, it’s just part of an ongoing process that all cable news networks engage in, and isn’t a sign that the network is in trouble.

Dunn was wrong in 2009 and she will be proven wrong again this year when Fox will inevitably claim it’s 12th consecutive crown as the number one cable news network.

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