Following White House criticism of Fox News for its ideological slant, conservative media figures are again fearmongering that the White House has an “enemies list,” and that Fox News is -- in the words of Glenn Beck -- “another enemy” that “warmongers” in the Obama administration would fight with “missiles pointed right at Fox.” Sean Hannity claimed the White House is “promising retribution,” and conservative radio host Mark Levin said, "[L]et me be clear -- there is an enemies list, a political hit list that this administration has. Just as Castro did, and Chavez and Stalin."
Conservatives claim Fox News is on a White House “enemies list,” suggest “retribution,” “assault”
Glenn Beck: There are missiles “pointed right at Fox.” On his Fox News show, Beck stated, “What a bunch of warmongers we have” in the White House, and that the United States is “fighting Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and now, these people have taken on another enemy -- Fox News.” After purporting to point out Fox News' location on a map of Manhattan to indicate “where the enemy is” and saying there are “missiles pointed right at Fox,” Beck stated: "[T]here was that enemy list with Nixon, but I think the enemy list -- I believe that whole thing, that was just who's not coming to state dinners. Could be wrong. I don't think that they've used White House resources, your tax dollars, to target the media before." Beck then claimed that “free speech [is] under attack,” and that he planned to show viewers “how this administration is consolidating power, and how your right to speak out and your right to hear, simply opposing voices, people who are asking legitimate questions, are all under assault.” [Glenn Beck, 10/12/09]
Sean Hannity: "[Y]ou'd think they would have ... a little bit more in terms of their priorities rather than attacking a news organization and creating an enemies list." On his Fox News show, Hannity said to Fox News contributor Mark Steyn, “What do you make of Anita Dunn in the propaganda office, in the White House attacking the Fox News Channel? You know, I would think that, you know, with unemployment at 9.8 percent, a general asking for 40,000 troops, and you know, a lot of problems this country has, you'd think they would have, you know, a little bit more in terms of their priorities rather than attacking a news organization and creating an enemies list.” [Hannity, 10/12/09]
Hannity: “The White House declared war on the Fox News Channel.” On his Fox News show, Hannity claimed that “the White House declared war on the Fox News Channel” and suggested it placed Fox News on an “enemies list” along with PricewaterhouseCoopers for its “flawed” analysis of the Senate Finance Committee health care bill. After Fox News contributor Dana Perino contended that “hey, this is politics,” Hannity said: “What you're saying is that if you disagree with this White House, that they have an enemies list, that they're promising retribution,” and suggested Perino would be “immediately on the enemies list” because she appeared on Fox News. Later in his show, after bringing up the White House's purported “payback” for the health care report, Hannity said: “That sounds like an enemies list. I thought -- I thought liberals were against enemies lists. Do you want a Republican administration going after NBC? Targeting them? Do you want an administration going after MoveOn.org or any -- or you or anybody else by saying, quote, 'There may be some retribution, because you speak out against them?' ” [Hannity, 10/13/09]
Bill O'Reilly compared situation to Nixon enemies list. On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly said that “the White House is not happy with Fox News because it believes it favors, the White House believes, it favors the Republican Party. There is scant, s-c-a-n-t evidence to support that, but the White House made a big deal out of it anyway.” He subsequently said to Fox News contributor Monica Crowley, “Now you worked for Richard Nixon,” adding, “And he had a Nixon enemies list. The difference was the White House pretty upfront about this. I mean, they're not secret. They don't like us. And Nixon -- that enemies list when he was in the White House was kind of private, right?” Crowley replied that the “lesson” for Obama was that Nixon's list “backfire[d]” and, “When you try to isolate a certain news organization, and say that's it, we're going to freeze them out, we're tossing them off the press plane, not just on a temporary basis for a week or two as a punishment because he didn't like a story or certain coverage. But for a long, protracted period of time like Obama's doing to Fox News in the last year.” [The O'Reilly Factor, 10/13/09]
Mark Levin: White House has an “enemies list,” “just as Castro did, and Chavez and Stalin.” On his show, conservative radio host Mark Levin said: “The White House has made it clear that Fox News is on the enemies list -- and so let me be clear -- there is an enemies list, a political hit list that this administration has. Just as Castro did, and Chavez and Stalin. Oh, Mark, and Nixon -- well, maybe so, and the media used to hate Nixon. But have you heard a single, liberal media outlet object to this? No, and you won't. Have you heard a single so-called civil liberties group object to this? No, and you won't. This administration is at war politically with its opponents, and it seeks to silence them and defund them and destroy them. That's what's going on. When he talks about redistributing wealth, Obama doesn't just mean economic wealth, he means giving power and rights to his allies and denying them to his adversaries. This is a real battle for liberty.”
Hotair.com: “Being number one on the White House enemies list must be worth millions in free publicity.” Discussing the contention between the White House and Fox News on the conservative blog Hotair.com, blogger Allahpundit wrote: “Exit question: Did Roger Ailes slip [White House adviser David] Axelrod a briefcase full of money or something at that tete-a-tete last month in return for his promise to keep demagoging FNC? Being number one on the White House enemies list must be worth millions in free publicity."
Conservative media have previously touted “enemies list” conspiracy theory
Conservative media previously claimed email recipients may be on WH “enemies list.” Conservative media figures previously baselessly suggested that people who reportedly claimed to have received unsolicited email from Axelrod may have been added to a White House “enemies list” after emails they sent that were critical of the Obama administration were purportedly forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. These media figures, such as Rush Limbaugh, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade, and Fox News' Bill Sammon, failed to provide any credible evidence in support of this conspiracy theory.