Amusement Inside Fox News As President Obama Takes Digs

By Alex Weprin 

The New York TimesJeremy Peters noticed that President Obama has taken a number of swipes at Fox News Channel in stump speeches over the last couple of months, and talks to network executives about their thoughts on the matter.

None of this has gone unnoticed inside the studios and executive suites of Fox News, which is rebuffing these White House put-downs as a denigration of the presidency.

“I think it lowers the office,” Michael Clemente, Fox’s executive vice president of news, said in an interview on Wednesday. “For it to come up as regularly as it does — and it’s not every day but every other week, I’d say — it’s just unusual. Especially given the issues out there, like the lack of new jobs and Syria.”

Peters also notes that the outcome of the election itself may have something of an impact on cable news ratings, as bizarre as it seems:

Fox News tends to benefit when it covers Mr. Obama and the Democrats aggressively. Indeed, during the height of the 2009 spat between Fox News and the White House, the channel’s ratings grew 8 percent over all. And while many of its commentators and on-air guests may be rooting for a Mitt Romney victory, privately Fox executives say that a second Obama term could be the best thing that ever happened to their network.