Is Obama Giving Fox News The Cold Shoulder In Pressers?


A new study by the University of Minnesota’s Eric Ostermeier indicates that President Obama has some very pronounced patterns in who he calls on for questions:

Over the course of the president’s first term, he has generally maintained the tiered approach as to which outlets ask the questions (with the Big 3 and Associated Press usually getting the green light), although the president has departed from tradition on occasion – famously calling on a digital-only media outlet’s reporter (Huffington Post’s Sam Stein) during his first news conference in February 2009.

But as for FOX, these have been relatively lean years in terms of getting the presidential nod at news conferences, particularly in light of the news outlet’s reach vis-à-vis some of the other media organizations which have received more questions.

How lean?

A Smart Politics analysis finds that ABC reporters have been called on the most frequently during Barack Obama’s solo news conferences followed by CBS, the Associated Press, and NBC with FOX News coming in at a distant ninth at less than half the rate of the top outlets and less than 40 percent of press conferences overall.

To be fair, Jake Tapper (until just recently) worked for ABC News and was well-known for asking some very tough questions. Indeed, Tapper was the most called-on reporter in the press room according to the study. But Fox is also the nation’s most-watched cable news network, by a country mile, and guess who got the second most questions (and, by far, the most follow-up questions)?

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd:

Todd, who is perhaps the King of the follow-up question, has made the most of the 23 news conferences in which his name has been called by the president.

Todd has been able to parlay this into 52 series of questions and follow-up questions (excluding multiple questions posed within one series), including multiple queries to the president on the debt ceiling on Monday.

The real problem is that the study is forced to work from an exceedingly small sample. Obama, frankly, didn’t hold that many in his first term. Just 79 in four years, the least since Reagan.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • zipity

    Of course he is. President Thin Skin is nothing more than a petulant poser. He cannot withstand the lightest of criticism. He can only survive by swimming in a sea of sycophantic supporters and suck-up “reporters”. Anything else exposes him as being completely out of his depth.

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    LOL, since when did Fox become a real news network? Every time they are called out on their lack of journalistic qualities conservatives always claim they aren’t journalists.

    • zipity

      What? Are you a refugee from the Special Olympics?

      The only time I’ve seen conservatives claim “they aren’t journalists” is when morons like you can’t tell the difference between reporters and opinion purveyors. There is a huge difference, but I suppose that distinction is way too subtle for you, and we should give some slack to a someone as fundamentally retarded as you.

      Yeah. Why can’t Fox be a paragon of truth like MSNBC, CBS, NBC, WAPO, NY Times, etc.?


      I knew I couldn’t say that without breaking up.

      • mickey_moussaoui

        Hannitized was rejected from the special olympics for using perfomance enhancing steroids.

    • Thresherman

      Since Fox hires both political commentators and journalists, it depends who you are talking about. But compared to ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN, it is at least clear to the moderately intelligent who is who on Fox. The others have so-called journalists who often mix commentary with their reporting as well as acting as out and out advocated for Democratic policies. If that behavior is is what you refer to as a “real news network” then no, Fox is not one and that says more about your abysmal lack of standards than whatever paltry claims you make about Fox.

    • $16179444

      i guess when they don’t pander and kiss ass to the ‘president’ they can’t be deemed as journalists.

    • Mike

      Every news channel has a team of journalists, and a team of “hosts” or moderators as well as news contributors. They are not to be confused with one another. Ed Schultz was a journalist in his early days. Now he’s a host.

  • Dallas

    Biased, baseless, just plain bad. The news flow for Fox is written every morning in the Republican talking points. Why call on someone who’s going to smear you. How often did “W” call on Fox? Ever? When I see a Fox reporter I can’t help thinking of the great mark Twain quote, …”Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without an address on it.”

    • mickey_moussaoui

      The low information Obama voter can’t follow FOX anyway. No one is telling them what to think.

    • $16179444

      but CNN, MSNBC et. al are not? or is this where you run away and not answer the question?

      • $16179444

        as i suspected Dallas – no reply

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Do you really have to ask Obama a question to know what he’ll say?

  • Mike

    His tactic will decidedly work against him. He abdicates to other sources the news content on any news outlet he ignores. There will be then a greater migration of viewers to FOX as the audience subconsciously tires of seeing this person. Ask Oprah. Happened to her.