War Between White House, Fox News Claims First Victim

Anita Dunn, WH communications director who started latest battle, is said to be leaving.

Last Updated: November 10, 2009 @ 2:33 PM

The Washington Post is reporting that Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, is stepping down from her post at the end of the month. Dan Pfeiffer, Dunn’s deputy, will take over.

It was Dunn, you’ll recall, who started a bit of a firestorm when she went on CNN last month and said this about Fox News: “We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent. As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

However, the Post says that the “passing of the baton from Dunn to Pfeiffer had long been expected” in Washington. (The paper points out that Dunn took the job on an “interim basis” earlier this year.)

Which makes this bit about the war between the White House and Fox News a tad confusing:

A source inside the White House, who was not authorized to speak about strategy meetings, said at the time that Dunn went out front against Fox first and foremost because it was her job, but also because it potentially gave the administration the opportunity to distance itself from the flap with the Roger Ailes-led news channel once she leaves the communications job.

It may be too late for distancing. As my colleague points out on TVMoJoe, Rupert Murdoch recently defended Glenn Beck’s incendiary comments about Barack Obama, which, in part, led to Dunn lashing out on CNN in the first place.

Here’s the video (warning: it’s friggin’ long):

The "war," it continues.


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