Anita Dunn, Critic of Fox News, Exits Obama Administration

By Andrew Gauthier 


According to several reports, White House communications director Anita Dunn will step down from her post at the end of the month. The communications office, which is tasked with developing and managing the rhetoric of the Obama administration, will be run by Dan Pfeiffer, Dunn’s deputy. This is the third time in 10 months that the office will have a new director.

Dunn, who was serving as communications director on an interim basis, launched a media assault on the Fox News Channel in October, referring to the network as a “wing of the Republican party” during an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” The feud continued through most of the month as top Obama aids took shots at Fox News for a perceived conservative bias.

Dunn’s feud with Fox News ended up being a ratings boon for the network and some have speculated that Dunn’s exit is linked to the media assault. According to assistant press secretary Thomas F. Vietor, this speculation is overblown. “Oh, for the love of God,” Vietor wrote in an email message to The Washington Times. “There is now connection.”

Even if Dunn’s exit was not specifically caused by the feud, it does appear that her interim status with the communications office may have been a factor in her leading the charge against Fox News. According to Chris Cilliza of The Washington Post, Dunn went after Fox 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.”