United States President Barack Obama has reopened a long-running feud with Fox News Channel, branding the conservative cable network as "ultimately destructive for the long-term growth" of the U.S.

In an interview published yesterday by Rolling Stone magazine, Obama took specific aim at Fox's chairman and chief executive, accusing Rupert Murdoch of being more concerned about generating profits than promoting an agenda to improve the U.S.'s well-being.

The Democratic president likened Murdoch to newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, whose sensationalist publications gave rise to the term "yellow" journalism.

"Look, as president, I swore to uphold the constitution, and part of that constitution is a free press," Obama said in the interview, conducted by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner. "We've got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints.

"I think Fox is part of that tradition -it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It's a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world.

"But as an economic enterprise, it's been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his No. 1 concern is, it's that Fox is very successful."

News Corp., Fox's parent company, had no immediate response.

Obama has clashed with Fox News throughout most of his two years in office.

Former White House communications director Anita Dunn said Fox "operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party."