Fox News put Politico on blast this morning, charging the site with ‘liberal bias’ after the Daily Caller exposed that Politico reporter Andy Barr was leaving journalism for a job with the Democratic Party in Arizona. As Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell discussed Barr’s beat and coverage on “Fox and Friends,” FNC ran banners that read “SITE’S LIBERAL SLANT REVEALED” and “BARR’S EXIT EXPOSES POLITICO’S TRUE COLORS.”
Though the story is not nearly as sensational as FNC’s headlines, Barr’s departure does represent another hash mark in the list of journos who have hung up their hats for jobs in politics. For example, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is the former Washington bureau chief of TIME magazine. Politico’s Jonathan Allen left the publication for a gig with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and then returned to Politico less than a year later. CNN senior producer Sasha Johnson is now at the Department of Transportation. Both Jill Zuckman and Peter Gosselin left their jobs with Tribune to join the Obama Administration. As did longtime ABC and CBS News reporter Linda Douglass who left broadcast journalism for a job at the White House. Douglass, like Jonathan Allen, eventually returned to media. She’s now a VP and Head of Communications for Atlantic Media, which owns National Journal and The Atlantic. Steven Rattner, Obama’s car czar, spent nine years writing for the New York Times. And Moira Bagley, former Roll Call reporter and Daily Caller Opinion Page editor, now works as communications director for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).
UPDATE: It was brought to our attention that FNC’s morning package was not just sensational but also hypocritical. In 2010 Megan Whittemore, who once covered Capitol Hill for Fox News and FoxNews.com, joined the office of now House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) as a deputy press secretary. On the flip side, we almost forgot about WaPo reporter turned Biden flack Shailagh Murray.
Despite the sensational banners, generalizations and tabloid approach to journalism, “Fox and Friends” has a point. What do you think: does a reporter’s departure for a job in politics prove slanted coverage in the past?