I don’t pretend that this is a surprise to anyone, but it is worth mentioning that Scott McClellan admitted that the White House actively sent talking points to Fox News to use in nightly broadcasts.
Care of Think Progress:
On MSNBC’s Hardball last night, host Chris Matthews asked former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan if he saw “FOX television as a tool” to get the White House’s “message out” while he was in the Bush administration. “Certainly there were commentators and other, pundits at FOX News, that were useful to the White House,” replied McClellan, adding that they were given “talking points.”
Making a distinction between journalists like Brit Hume and commentators like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, McClellan admitted that “certainly” the White House used Fox News talking heads as “spokespeople” with “a script”:
MATTHEWS: So, you wouldn’t use Brit Hume to sell stuff for them, but you’d use some of the nighttime guys?
MCCLELLAN: Yeah, I would separate that out, and certainly I, you know, they’ll say, that’s because they agree with those views in the White House.
MATTHEWS: Well, they didn’t need a script though, did they?
MCCLELLAN: No, well, probably not.
McClellan later told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann that “it was done frequently, especially on high-profile issues” and that Fox often gave the White House “its desired results.” Current Press Secretary Dana Perino would only tell Olbermann, “I’m not aware of that.”