White House vs Fox News, again 

He totally wants to kiss you right now.

Jeff Zeleny of the NYT (woot!) sat down for a little video interview with still-newish White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer. Asked about Fox News and whether he shares his predecessor Anita Dunn's view of the network, Pfeiffer went there.

"I have the same view of Fox that Anita had, which is that Fox is not a traditional news organization," he said "They have a point of view. That point of view pervades the entire network both the opinion shows, like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, but also through the newscasts during the day."

Eesh. Really, Dan? We grant you everything about O'Reilly, Beck, the whole conservative crew. But Bret Baier? Is he all slanty? And the journalists who cover the White House for Fox News -- not just Major Garrett, Mike Emanuel and Wendell Goler, but all the producers and cameraguys and whatnot -- are excellent professionals contributing to the newscasts throughout the day.

"We don't feel an obligation to treat them like we would treat a CNN or an ABC or an NBC or a traditional news organization," Pfeiffer said. "But there are times when it would make sense to communicate with them and appear on the network."

Sigh. Certainly, feuding with Fox News is handy and fires up the president's Democratic base (including right before an important special election). But -- it just feels d-u-m. And a little unworthy of Pfeiffer, who is a smart dude and an asset to the administration.

A Fox News spokesperson had this to say:

"Obviously new to his position, Dan seems to be intent upon repeating the mistakes of his predecessor... and we all remember how well that turned out."

Greta is already preparing for battle. We can only imagine what Beck will have to say -- the irresistable combination of Pfeiffer dissing Fox to the New York Times -- he won't be able to contain himself.

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Julie Mason

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