Has the WH crossed a line in its war on Fox News?

Posted by: ST on October 19, 2009 at 8:48 pm

You betcha, writes Tom Bevan:

The White House’s direct attack on FOX News is only part of the strategy. As Axelrod and Emanuel made clear yesterday, they also want to drive a wedge between the rest of the media and FOX News, enlisting other television networks in the effort to paint FOX News as illegitimate.

Axelrod went out of his way to suggest to Stephanopoulos that ABC News adopt the White House strategy and not treat FOX News as legitimate. “The bigger thing is,” Axelrod said, “other news organizations, like yours, ought not to treat them that way. We’re not going to treat them that way. ”

Emanuel suggested the same to John King later in their interview: “And more importantly is not have the CNN’s and others in the world basically be led and following FOX, as if what they’re trying to do is a legitimate news organization, in the sense of both sides and a sense of valued opinion.”

It’s actually quite brazen when you think about it. The two most senior members of the Obama White House – men who control all the information and access to the Executive Branch, the lifeblood of most news organizations – went on national television and suggested that ABC, CNN and other networks follow the White House’s lead and join in its war to marginalize a competitor because it takes a “perspective” that displeases the President.

Such tactics may not be frowned upon by brass-knuckle operatives working for the political machine in a one party town. But it’s different when you’re the President of the United States. Most Americans of all political stripes don’t want to see the President using the majesty and power of his office for heavy handed attacks on any organization simply because it has been critical of the President.

In other words, the White House’s strategy may be the Chicago way, but it isn’t the American way.

As Bevan also correctly noted in his opinion piece, it’s no big secret that every WH has had issues with the coverage the press has given it, but very few have responded in the way this WH has, with not only openly declaring that they don’t believe Fox is a “real news organization” but also by trying to shame liberally biased news outlets into following their lead … as if the WH controls the press.

Well, ok – they sort of do. Just listen to Queen Anti-Fox herself, Anita Dunn.

This is an issue that liberals and conservatives ought to be able to join hands together over. A clear declaration of war on a mainstream media news outlet by the President of the United States and his administration is not exactly what I would call a hallmark of a federal government open to dissenting opinions. Think Nixon. But, just as we’ve seen with cheering over Rush Limbaugh being blatantly discriminated against solely because of his political views, most of the “mainstream” left in this country – bloodthirsty after being out of power on a national level for so many years – has said to hell with their Bush-era mantra of “dissent is patriotic” and instead are waving hello to by-any-means-necessary one party domination.

Instead of being happy that most mainstream news media outlets are batting for the left wing, liberal bloggers, pundits, and politicos focus on the one network that does not. Why? Because they want “free” healthcare passed, they want us to pull out of Afghanistan immediately – without regard to the consequences of cutting and running, they want “the rich” and other self-made citizens of this country punished for their success by taxing them so the “have nots” can have what the “haves” do – without having to work for it. They want everyone to “chip in” and pay higher taxes in an effort to “combat global warming.” And any news outlet whose opinion show hosts don’t toe that line must be targeted for ridicule and/or marginalization, because it might catch on with a majority of the American people that members of this administration – starting at the very top – are not the agents of the kind of “change” (open government, honestly, transparency, accountability) they promised the American people. That doesn’t sound like a presidency. That sounds like a dictatorship.

We’ve seen leftists wage this war most recently on Tea Partiers with little in turn to show for it, and for years they’ve been after Rush Limbaugh to try and get him off the air with no success, and now it’s on with Fox News – which I don’t think will be a success, either. In fact, it may very well backfire, when you consider that some high profile liberal icons like the NYT, The Nation, and Helen Thomas are all urging the WH to back off its war with the successful cable news outlet.

Will the Arrogant Know It Alls in the WH listen to their advice? Don’t count on it because, just like they did in Chicago, it’s their way or no way – the Chicago on the Potomac Way. Just ask anyone who works for this government in a high level position who has dared to disagree with this administration what happens when they openly express disagreement.

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22 Responses to “Has the WH crossed a line in its war on Fox News?”


  1. Jo says:

    The ‘we’re in charge now and we’re pushing through our agenda and no one had best speak out against it’ mentality in all its liberal finery. The little thug from Chicago has to surround himself with his fellow Socialist thugs to do the dirty work for him. Uhm . . . let’s compare ratings of Fox and say the slobbering, rabid libtard Obermann (sp).

  2. Ron Russell says:

    Change will never come from the vast American middle,but rather from the fringes and FOX does have commentors who fill the bill. The American middle is great in numbers, but weak in ideas and the will to resist the assults from the left. The playing field must be balanced with corresponding attacts from the right. The early American Patriots were not moderates but extremist who dragged along the masses in the middle to the great American Revolution.

  3. NC Cop says:

    All they keep driving is Fox’s ratings…right through the roof.

    What a bunch of buffoons. Suck up to Iran, but declare war on Fox News. Makes perfect sense.

  4. Kitty says:

    If Obama’s massive ego is so fragile that he can’t tolerate being held to the same scrutiny that every other elected official in this country has been subjected to since America’s inception, and if he is going to have a meltdown every time someone dares to criticize him or his policies, then he is in the WRONG line of work and needs to resign NOW so somebody with a thicker hide can step up and actually DO the job of governing this country – something which Obama is CLEARLY incapable of doing.

  5. MarkJ says:

    Meanwhile in Crawford, Texas, “Dubya” shuffles the card deck and guffaws to his poker buddies, “See, boys, what did I tell you? Ol’ Oh-bah-mah got hisself shipped off to the big leagues when he should have stayed in Single-A and worked on his fastball. And now he’s whinin’ ’cause the American people want to pull him off the mound before he makes any more unforced errors. I always knew that dude was all hat and no cattle. Now ante up!”

  6. Carlos says:

    Oh, my, where to begin? In the first place, it is the custom of the WH (and has been for decades, if not centuries) to control what comes out of the government as news. It has not, however, been the custom of the WH to try to shut down any news outlet who disagrees with them. That is, rightly noted above, a dictatorship, and I hardly think Duh-1 wants to be perceived as a dictator – not yet, anyway.

    And as far as being “illegitimate” as a source of news, what about all the news outlets that, during the last presidential campaign, refused to accomplish their due diligence and dig into Duh-1’s significant past activities, starting with his college associations, continuing with his “professional” associations (as with Ayers), and with his “moral”/ethical associations (as with the right Reverend Wright)? It was simple duplicity with the candidate and his team that caused the MSM to ignore all of that and focus simply on what a wonderful, powerful speaker full of promise(s) for America, promise(s) that have failed America so miserably in just the first 9 months.

    Even so much as verifying that Obama really is a natural-born citizen with the Constitutional right to run for president has never been thoroughly investigated by them, even if they do believe he is. That, ladies and gentlemen, is criminal negligence, and the MSM should be held to account for such blithe and criminal negligence. (That is not to say Duh-1 is not a natural-born citizen, but just that it has never been investigated by the media.)

    And the criminals and ne’er-do-wells he has surrounded himself with in the WH speaks loudly to what kind of ethical person he really is, and it isn’t pretty.

    So get off that sorry wagon, slop-hogs. You’ll have a hard enough time turning this country into the socialist paradise you want as is, and you’re just making it harder on yourselves.

  7. GSH says:

    If the WH has crossed a line, you can be assured that it was a line that they had every intention of crossing eventually. They have successfully conscripted all of the media outlets other than Fox. Now they have pronounced their judgment that Fox is “not really a news organization”.

    Take a moment to consider the implications of that. If Fox commentators are really political operatives, rather than journalists, doesn’t it follow that they could lose the protections afforded to the press under our Constitution? If the WH is looking to stifle dissenting voices (and I believe they are), they have to know that pesky Second Amendment could get in the way. But… what if they just take the position that it doesn’t apply to Fox?

    Think that’s too far-fetched? Maybe so. But we thought that intimidating voters by brandishing a deadly weapon outside of a polling place during a Presidential election was a serious threat to our electoral process. And yet the Obama Justice Department declined to prosecute.

    If you look carefully, this administration doesn’t seek to change our laws or our Constitution. Because they believe they can circumvent the existing framework through selective interpretation, regulation, and enforcement. The recent comments about Fox not being a “real” news organization were just the opening salvo.

  8. Dave B says:

    I don’t think this latest attack on Fox has anything to do with Fox really. They’ve always spoken out against them and some of the individuals. I absolutely believe that some of the MSM who had the audacity to ask questions out of the box are being warned not to do so, including the NYT, CNN, and a few others uncharacteristically asked a few tough questions.

  9. Kate says:

    Bingo Dave B…..the audacity to ask pertinent questions is on the line here. The MSM is getting a tongue lashing and the WH is proud to admit that they have been controlling any questions that Obama will answer. That’s how he ran as a candidate and that’s how it will be during his term. So we can use the term “managed care” when it comes to the press, too.

    So take heed CNN…you better not let Lou Dobbs bring up that pesky illegal immigration or we will call you a nutcase, too, just like Glenn Beck and that “racist” Rush Limbaugh.

    Limited freedom of speech, freedom of information is no problem for them in their socialist agenda. So it’s gonna be “don’t ask and we won’t tell” regarding the health care bill, as well as Afghanistan, and any other issue of national security.

    Next they will be burning Glenn Becks books on the White House lawn.

  10. Brontefan says:

    Anything that will draw attention away from all this SPENDING and their 1500-page ObamaCare health bill is working for them. They have to do all they can to destroy our capitalistic society and eliminate freedoms before the November 10 elections.

  11. I think he truly sees himself as a victim. He disregards how the other networks have treated previous presidents or how they still treat Republicans on Capitol Hill. He ignores the fact that the tougher that Fox News gets on him and his administration, the softer that the big three networks, CNN, and MSNBC get in their coverage of the “maligned” Chief Executive. He feels mistreated and misrepresented, and he wants the world to know that Fox News is the one in the wrong here. He is absolutely blind to the cover he has been / is provided by the Popular Rule on a daily basis. He wants to focus on the “biased” coverage he receives from one network while he takes for granted through his divine providence the favorable coverage he receives from everybody else.

    What the president seems to overlook here are two glaring points that he either ignores or is blissfully ignorant to. One is that maybe – just maybe – Fox News is providing a valuable service to the nation by offering balance to the News world that has been Left-Leaning for so long that it began to hardly even notice; and two that maybe Fox News is simply a shining example of capitalism at work. There is obviously a demand for their version of news reporting and if there were not, Fox News would likely be filled with programs chasing Hollywood actors around town with the hopes of catching a bad hair day.

    I am not foolish or naive enough to believe that Fox News is “Fair and Balanced.” I can see their Right-Leaning message for what it is. What Liberal Progressives like President Obama cannot now (or ever) begin to understand is that we as Republicans or conservatives have the ability to perform this clever little trick where we see the tilt in the news we get from media outlets. We developed it through years of filtering through all the Leftist propaganda that was pumped down our throats by the other networks before we had Fox News to turn the dial to.

  12. bill glass says:

    I do find it hard to fathom why they’re doing this, and see who is the force behind this effort. Obama really doesn’t seem that dumb. Also the veiled threat to the other “news” networks is serious business. Does this mean that the white house is really worried about losing the “control” and blind fawning support of abc, cbs, etc.?

  13. Bill says:

    Isn’t this the same thing that Chavez in Venezuela started doing before he pulled the licenses from all those radio and TV stations that were not in line with his thinking? Now that the Democrats control the FCC, I’m guessing they’ve got tons of lawyers looking at ways to “legally” cancel Fox’s broadcast license, or at the very least, make it very painful for Fox not to toe the Party line like NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN does.

  14. Ted says:

    KGB Agent Obama is just following orders.

  15. neomom says:

    Yes – they are serious about it. Check out all the shenanigans going on at the FCC. Michelle Malkin has a great post today linking to the Spectator about how the FCC is teaming up with 7 of the “mainline” religions, Soros, and La Raza to put out a petition to silence the “hate speech”. See also the writings and video clips of Mark Lloyd. They can’t control Fox or talk radio so they have to destroy them.

    This will not end well.

  16. kate says:

    These Washington insiders are now in full blown destructo mode now that they hold what they preceive to be the reins of power in Washington. But, serious constitutional challenges will ensue if they decide to go down the road of pulling licenses on sham issues. If anything, the First Amendment rights would have to be overturned by the Supreme Court. Then what kind of country would we be living in?

  17. Courtney says:

    The only reason Obama and his cronies are trying to demonize FOX News is because they are the only station that they don’t have “absolute control over”, as Anita Dunn would say. And when next election rolls around, they still won’t be able to manipulate FOX, so instead, they try to delegitimize the whole network. If they won’t join you, ruin them = WH’s simple strategy.

  18. Apparently, dissent is not as patriotic as it used to be.

    It all goes to show that for all their talk about civil rights, in the end the liberals really don’t like opposition, and will do all that they can to squash it.

    Rather than argue the facts, they want to silence opponents.

    What really gets me, though, is the intellectual dishonesty of it all. If you don’t like the opinions on Fox or their overall slant, fine. But all networks have a slant. Sure Fox is conservative. But it’s only honest to also say that CNN, MSNBC, PBS, CBS, ABC, and NBC are liberal.

    So to say that Fox is not a legitimate because of bias, yet treat the others as legitimate despite their bias, well, that’s intellectual dishonesty defined.

  19. Kate says:

    The White House is really worried about the country getting this new flu…it’s call the truth. Because it makes you seek answers about Obama and his associates and their policies and philosophies. If the nations gets infected by that the MSM may have to start to ask hard questions. They become totally disassociated with the master’s plans. This would be the worst thing that could happen to the current administration and their cohorts in Congress.