Speaking truth to power

An exchange between CNN’s Campbell Brown and White House spokesperson Valerie Jarrett:

Brown: So do you think FOX News is biased?
Jarrett: Well, of course they're biased. Of course they are.
Brown: OK. Then do you also think that MSNBC is biased?
Jarrett: Well, you know what? This is the thing. I don't want to–actually, I don't want to just generalize all FOX is biased or that another station is biased. I think what we want to do is look at it on a case-by-case basis. And when we see a pattern of distortion, we're going to be honest about that pattern of distortion.
Brown: But you only see that at FOX News? That's all that–you have spoken out about FOX News.
Jarrett: That's actually not true. I think that what the administration has said very clearly is that we're going to speak truth to power.

Don’t the people in the White House know that THEY are the ones in power? That their crusade against their critics at Fox is trying to SILENCE people speaking truth to power?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Jeremy Larson

    Such a good point!

  • Jeremy Larson

    Such a good point!

  • Jonathan

    Sophmoric comes to mind.

  • Jonathan

    Sophmoric comes to mind.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    It’s a classic case of, “Oh, I forgot again. *I’m* the Man now.”

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    It’s a classic case of, “Oh, I forgot again. *I’m* the Man now.”

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I’m still trying to figure out how playing video of Obama minions praising Chairman Mao is “biased.”

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I’m still trying to figure out how playing video of Obama minions praising Chairman Mao is “biased.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Check out the interview video on YouTube, if only to see Campbell Brown’s grin while watching Jarrett try to extract her foot from her mouth while spewing liberal clichés.

  • Carl Vehse

    Check out the interview video on YouTube, if only to see Campbell Brown’s grin while watching Jarrett try to extract her foot from her mouth while spewing liberal clichés.

  • Bob

    I love it when each individual acts like they’re the poor, helpless victim.

  • Bob

    I love it when each individual acts like they’re the poor, helpless victim.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    You kind of get the impression that for Jarrett, the phrase “speaking the truth to power” — a phrase I really detest — is something of a verbal tic.

    That said, while Jarrett is caught in her own words here, let’s not pretend that Fox News is not also “in power”. Look at the history of this country and tell me the media is not a check on our government. Yes, the President has a “bully pulpit”, but its effectiveness is actually subject to the media.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    You kind of get the impression that for Jarrett, the phrase “speaking the truth to power” — a phrase I really detest — is something of a verbal tic.

    That said, while Jarrett is caught in her own words here, let’s not pretend that Fox News is not also “in power”. Look at the history of this country and tell me the media is not a check on our government. Yes, the President has a “bully pulpit”, but its effectiveness is actually subject to the media.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    That is a good question. Who actually is more powerful? President Obama? GE? or Rupert Murdoch?

    The clash of the Titans!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    That is a good question. Who actually is more powerful? President Obama? GE? or Rupert Murdoch?

    The clash of the Titans!

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    We should give credit to Campbell Brown of CNN–that is to say, the mainline, usually accused of liberal bias, media–for this interview.

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    We should give credit to Campbell Brown of CNN–that is to say, the mainline, usually accused of liberal bias, media–for this interview.

  • DonS

    Yes, tODD @ 7. And that fact was never more evident than when GW Bush was president and the entire MSM was arrayed against him.

    Notice how Jarrett could not bring herself to declare that MSNBC was biased, though there is no question that its opinion shows are at least as vitriolic on the left as the Fox News opinion shows are on the right. And, lest we forget about that “power” thing, MSNBC is owned by that evil corporate power, General Electric.

  • DonS

    Yes, tODD @ 7. And that fact was never more evident than when GW Bush was president and the entire MSM was arrayed against him.

    Notice how Jarrett could not bring herself to declare that MSNBC was biased, though there is no question that its opinion shows are at least as vitriolic on the left as the Fox News opinion shows are on the right. And, lest we forget about that “power” thing, MSNBC is owned by that evil corporate power, General Electric.

  • John C

    Fox is hardly speaking truth to power — it is broadcasting hysteria and fear to the ill-educated.

  • John C

    Fox is hardly speaking truth to power — it is broadcasting hysteria and fear to the ill-educated.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    John C.: Examples, please?

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    John C.: Examples, please?

  • Tim Webb

    Dr. Veith,

    Thanks, you beat me to it… yes, we must give credit to Campbell Brown, who is a good reporter, and for CNN making this available. And to their credit, the other networks have cried fowl at the White House singling out Fox News.

    FYI, I can’t stand Fox and never watch it. But there is freedom of the press, and they must be allowed to have their say.

  • Tim Webb

    Dr. Veith,

    Thanks, you beat me to it… yes, we must give credit to Campbell Brown, who is a good reporter, and for CNN making this available. And to their credit, the other networks have cried fowl at the White House singling out Fox News.

    FYI, I can’t stand Fox and never watch it. But there is freedom of the press, and they must be allowed to have their say.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith (@9), I have no worries that anyone will factor this interview — or any other bit of evidence — into their view of the media as being liberally biased.

    Don (@10), “when GW Bush was president and the entire MSM was arrayed against him.” Indeed, or when Clinton was President and the same thing happened. Oh wait, I forgot, that doesn’t count.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith (@9), I have no worries that anyone will factor this interview — or any other bit of evidence — into their view of the media as being liberally biased.

    Don (@10), “when GW Bush was president and the entire MSM was arrayed against him.” Indeed, or when Clinton was President and the same thing happened. Oh wait, I forgot, that doesn’t count.

  • Jonathan

    Surely you laughed when Fox had Karl Rove deny the White House’s allegations that the network was actually a Republican front.

  • Jonathan

    Surely you laughed when Fox had Karl Rove deny the White House’s allegations that the network was actually a Republican front.

  • Bruce Gee

    tODD @ 14: Actually, I can think even further back and remember the media shredding of Jimmy Carter. You could see his presidency being brought to its knees before your very eyes.

    I’m not at all sure we’ve come to terms with the power that the media has in this country. But we should also remember that Fox came into its ascendency not in a vacuum, but because so many people were sick and tired of the viewpoints emanating from the rest of the MSM. Murdoch saw a trend of demand coming from the people, and cashed in on it.
    Personally, the only thing I watch on Fox is the Bret Baier hour, now and then, and I really miss Brit Hume.

  • Bruce Gee

    tODD @ 14: Actually, I can think even further back and remember the media shredding of Jimmy Carter. You could see his presidency being brought to its knees before your very eyes.

    I’m not at all sure we’ve come to terms with the power that the media has in this country. But we should also remember that Fox came into its ascendency not in a vacuum, but because so many people were sick and tired of the viewpoints emanating from the rest of the MSM. Murdoch saw a trend of demand coming from the people, and cashed in on it.
    Personally, the only thing I watch on Fox is the Bret Baier hour, now and then, and I really miss Brit Hume.

  • Tom

    Yeah, right. Wait, they want to call out distortions? What about their (Obama’s and the liberals) distortions? Oh, wait, that’s right he’s the messiah and can’t be wrong. I get the feeling that the other media are protecting themselves. When they call Obama’s admin on something, they want to go after the facts and not sit and debate if they are distorting anything. It is nice to see them guard their own, but they must be wanting something from it…

  • Tom

    Yeah, right. Wait, they want to call out distortions? What about their (Obama’s and the liberals) distortions? Oh, wait, that’s right he’s the messiah and can’t be wrong. I get the feeling that the other media are protecting themselves. When they call Obama’s admin on something, they want to go after the facts and not sit and debate if they are distorting anything. It is nice to see them guard their own, but they must be wanting something from it…

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