White House vs. Fox News: Blundering

As the war between the White House and Fox News escalates, it might be insightful to take a look back and see the path which led to Thursday’s attempt by the White House to completely shut off Fox News.

The first skirmish was back in August, when people were complaining about having received unwanted emails from the White House. Major Garrett, Fox’s White House correspondent, asked Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about why and how those people received the emails. Gibbs had no ready answer, was quick to attempt to ridicule Garrett’s question, and ultimately bypassed answering him altogether.

The next bout came earlier this month as White House Communications Director Anita Dunn commented in a New York Times interview:

“We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent. As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

She subsequently made similar comments on the Sunday talk shows, claiming that Fox News is an arm of the Republican party:

“[Fox is] widely viewed as a part of the Republican Party: take their talking points and put them on the air, take their opposition research and put it on the air. And that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news organization like CNN is.”

Fair-minded Jake Tapper of ABC News came to Fox’s defense by questioning Robert Gibbs about the legitimacy of the attack:

Tapper: It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one –

(Crosstalk)

Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.

Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say –

Gibbs: ABC -

Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?

Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.

Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” — why is that appropriate for the White House to say?

Gibbs: That’s our opinion.

This past Sunday, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod upped the stakes by declaring outright that Fox News is not a news organization, and then working in veiled threats to the other networks:

The latest salvo was fired Thursday at a press pool event, during which the other major networks showed an amazing level of solidarity with Fox, perhaps because they realized the the shoe will eventually be on the other foot at some point during the next three years.

It seems like a mistake of major proportions to wage a war with an organization that buys digital ink by the barrel, so to speak. Given the political savvy and old school Chicago-style upbringing of the senior White House staff, I wonder what neophyte at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has the naiveté to gin up such a brawl, and the clout to make it happen.

Oh yeah, that would be President Obama.

Stoutcat

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9 Responses to White House vs. Fox News: Blundering

  1. charleyjk4 says:

    Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch who hates democrats.

    • Doug says:

      Charley,

      Are we to infer that MSM is not owned by or does not have anchors and reporters who harbor animosity towards republicans?

      That hatred of democrats probably explains why Geraldo has his own show on Fox, right?

      It would also explain folks on the payroll like Juan Williams, right?

      Keith “Oh God” Olberman – he’s fair and objective right?

      Rachel “Maddog” Maddow? There’s a fountain of fairness, right?

      Glenn Beck an organ of the republican party?

      Here on earth where our crackheads smoke regular every day ordinary crack, we know better. Stay away from that outer space stuff, mmmkay????

      If one basing their standard of real news on the progressive ABC, NBC, CBS model, then yes, Fox Network is a bastion of conservative thought.

      That may be because they often give air time to stories that are automatically pre-empted by the socialist world view of the alphabet networks.

      Compared to real conservative media such as wnd.com, Fox News is a bunch of sandal wearing tofu munching tree hugging bed wetting Mao loving punks.

      IMO, too many confuse conservatism with republican, liberal with progressive, and democrat with socialist.

      I am a classic liberal ( one who rejects the statist notions of socialism, embraces civil rights, and values freedom) , people who call me a racist republican because I don’t agree with the stimulus or government run health care are avoiding the discussion.

      Because their viewpoint lacks merit, so they are left with attacking their ideological opponent. This is where we see the white house with Fox News now.

      It’s cowardice and dishonesty. They don’t like the message, so they are trying to destroy the messenger.

      I try not to hate anybody, especially if I disagree with them.

      Attila the Hun was big on diversity. All were accepted into the tribe if they were loyal, and was said to value dissent because it provided new ideas.

      He crushed nearly every state he encountered in his day. Incidentally, most states of his day behaved like our administration is now regarding dissent. They typically sought to destroy dissenters.

      Ever notice that when the White House attacks fox news they don’t have any specifics? Just blanket charges. Let’s hear the beef! Lay it out.

      MSNBC had that video footage of a tea party protester with a military looking rifle and pistol. The MSNBC “news” folks whined and whined about how angry white guys with guns protesting the POTUS had such frightening racial overtones.

      Glenn Beck, who never claims to be a journalist, proved that the clip was heavily edited and it was actually a black man wearing his AR15 and semi automatic pistol to the protest.

      So who’s the real news? The NBC employees who edited video and outright lied to try and paint any white man who disagrees with POTUS as a dangerous violent racist – OR – Glenn Beck who exposed the fraud?

      NBC, didn’t they have a guy named Dan Rather? or was that CBS? they are so much alike sometimes it’s hard to tell – ain’t it?

      I don’t hate democrats, but don’t like what they are doing with the country. Wasn’t too crazy about what the republicans did of late either.

      Not a huge slobbering fan of George W. Bush, but give him credit for stopping terrorist attacks after 9/11. The media hated him from the beginning and never let up.

      The disrespect for him was unprecedented. Anybody remember the comedy show “That’s my Bush”? I do. The left abandoned it after 9/11.

      Fox was the only station that IMO showed any respect for his office. Fox still had plenty of criticism and coverage that was not favorable to W.

      Fox has been respectful of President Obama, more respectful than the patronizing leg tingling fawners.

      That the Obama Administration will not tolerate criticism or allow diversity of viewpoints is chilling.

      Consider this: Could it be racist not to treat a black/bi racial candidate with the same level of scrutiny that a white candidate would be subjected to?

      The sex life of Sarah Palin’s daughter deserves national discussion and derision but it’s not real news to discuss the associations of Barack Obama?

      Before you gleefully jump on the bandwagon of censorship and facist style strong arm tactics against dissenters, remember that quote from Nazi Germany.

      Will there be anybody left to stand up when they come for you?

      The media that so often derides Fox realized that there was a big difference between sibling rivalry and Government censorship. The organizations refused to do a press pool interview excluding FOx.

      No matter what you think about Fox if you are not disturbed by government censorship of dissent then there is something very wrong with you.

      “…leave us in peace, and let posterity forget ye were ever our countrymen….”

      Canada or Mexico my brother. Just a bus ticket away.

      Either way, Vaya con dios. Send us a postcard and let us know how it works out.

      • Solana2012 says:

        Oh, Doug, you’re so much more eloquent than me! Wish I hadn’t been responding at the same time!
        Well put!

    • Solana2012 says:

      charleyjk4:
      Whether your statement is true or not, what does that have to do with the statement “Fox is not a news organization”?
      Stick to the issue:
      Suppression. Intimidation. Lies.
      By your president and his disciples.
      For the good of the people.
      You and I are next.

      • Doug says:

        It looks like the administration is taking a break from trotting out the talking heads to the weekend shows.

        Perhaps re-considering this strategy? By trying to stuff Fox they actually got some pretty left leaning folks to openly criticize their administration.

        This scares me because almost anything the administration does, can be undone. Not without cost, but just about everything is reversible.

        Economic collapse, civil war, as horrific as these scenarios are, we have overcome the before and we can do it again.

        Once the state completely controls the media
        it’s a whole different game.

      • Stoutcat says:

        Doug, most of the media is helping to hasten the day when the state controls the media. Our fourth estate is in fact a fifth column.

      • Doug says:

        I believe that is correct. I wonder if whether the media that is ushering in that day understands the implications for themselves when total control occurs.

        My theory is that there are very few monsters. Most folks rationalize things the way all of us do until they can convince themselves that their path is right.

        It would be interesting to me for the rationalizations of the left leaning media to be laid bare. Might be interesting for them too.

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