October 13, 2009

"Enemies" List Redux

Hatched by Dafydd

President Barack H. Obama, continuing his relentless quest to emulate and even surpass all the worst tendencies of Richard Nixon, has resuscitated the presidential (or perhaps unpresidential) enemies list. Topping Obama's version is the Fox News Channel; one gets the impression that if Obama could somehow revoke their broadcast licence, he would hesitate only as long as it took to find his favorite ballpoint.

Recently, the One and his acolytes have escalated their hate speech against news organizations that fail to fawn over him and his glorious crusade; his spokesmen increasingly make bizarre and unfocused attacks on the world's most popular cable news channel -- as reported by Fox News itself, of course, but very well sourced (as are most Fox News stories):

"What I think is fair to say about Fox -- and certainly it's the way we view it -- is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party," said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. "They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is."

One is hard pressed to find a single political player who thinks it benefits the White House to single out one very popular news channel for repeated denunciation, denial of interviews, and smear campaigns. As professor, lawyer, journalist, and former presidential advisor -- to Republican presidents and also to Bill Clinton -- David Gergen notes, "The press always has the last barrel of ink." Or phosphors, in this case.

I wonder how far the Obamatons will take this war of choice against Fox News. Will they prevent the channel from sending reporters to White House press conferences? Threaten analysts with a loss of White House credentials if they appear on any Fox News show? Will they extend their rage to other news organizations seen as insufficiently compliant, such as the Washington Times, the Washington Examiner, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, and Politico?

In a similar vein, attempts by Obamic allies to punish conservative talk show hosts, Rush Limbaugh in particular, have mounted to absurd heights. Recently, Limbaugh's attempts to purchase the St. Louis Rams football team (as part of a consortium of investors) has provoked first Al Sharpton and now Jesse Jackson to write angry, denunciatory letters to the National Football League, demanding that the league intervene and prevent the talk-show host's bid from being accepted by the team's current owners. Notwithstanding what Jackson once said about Barack Obama's testicles, both reverends are strong supporters of the president.

Chris Wallace, son of famed 60 Minutes founding correspondent Mike Wallace and host of Fox News Sunday, succinctly summed up Team Obama's approach to news organs that are not in Barack Obama's pocket:

Still, Obama refused to appear on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace on Sept. 20, the day he appeared on five other Sunday shows. At the time, the White House characterized the snub as payback for the Fox Broadcast Network's decision not to air an Obama prime time appearance. But last weekend, Dunn blamed Fox News Channel's coverage of the administration for Obama's snub of Fox News Sunday.

"Is this why he did not appear?" Dunn said. "The answer is yes."

Wallace has called White House officials "the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington."

The Obama administration has never understood that it should no longer be in campaign mode, nine months into the president's term, but rather in governing mode; in the latter, presidents must interact not only with rabid supporters but the rest of the country as well. It's astonishing that Obama is more willing, even eager, to talk with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuelan dictator Oogo Chavez, and Russian puppeteer Vladimir Putin than to talk with the one American television news agency that critically examines both sides equally.

By contrast, George W. Bush gave many interviews to CNN, MSNBC, CBS, and NPR. But then, Republicans have never had a problem accepting the reality that even those who disagree with them still have First Amendment rights.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 13, 2009, at the time of 10:33 AM

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The following hissed in response by: Geoman

They are withholding the light of the lawgiver, Saint Obama. Surely Fox News will buckle without his healing light.

That or he is a simple coward.

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 14, 2009 9:48 AM

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