"House Republican leaders rushed to the defense of conservative commentators Thursday after President Obama dismissed Fox News as "talk radio" -- part of the White House campaign to marginalize opposing viewpoints.
Rep. Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said conservative commentators speak more for Americans than the national media outlets that have targeted them for criticism.
"Goaded on by a White House increasingly intolerant of criticism, lately the national media has taken aim at conservative commentators in radio and television," the Indiana Republican said on the House floor. "Suggesting that they only speak for a small group of activists and even suggesting in one report today that Republicans in Washington are 'worried about their electoral effect.' Well, that's hogwash."
Pence said the hundreds of thousands who filled town hall meetings this summer to protest Obama's sweeping health care reform legislation and marched in Washington in September prove there is widespread worry "about liberal social policies and runaway federal spending, deficit and debt."
"So to my friends in the so-called 'mainstream media,' I say, 'conservative talk show shots may not speak for everybody, but they speak for more Americans than you do."
Several top White House advisers have appeared on other news channels to criticize Fox News' coverage of the administration, dismiss the network as the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and urge other news organizations not to treat Fox News as a legitimate news network. "
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