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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Obama's War on Fox a Sign of Desperation

I didn't watch Fox all day yesterday but Obama's war on Fox was on every time I did. That included on Beck, Special Report and this James Rosen report likely was played on a regular basis on the network all day.

The most astute comment came from Mary Katherine Ham on the O'Reilly Factor. She pointed out that in attacking Fox News Anita Dunn, White House communications director, wasn't talking about Obama's agenda. So by making Fox News the message from the Obama administration, it was no longer talking about health care refom. They wasted their free air time picking a fight rather than getting their message out. Following that, liberal Juan Williams said that if Fox News were really a Republican propaganda arm he wouldn't be on the air and would be uncomfortable coming on. The problem with taking on a 24 hour news station is that they have all day to cover the story, and they choose how to cover it. (especially when you refuse to come on the air to present your side)

The White House is looking for a foil (something said by Stephen Hayes) Why do they need a foil? They need a foil because they're losing in popular opinion. They tried to demonize the doctors, the insurance companies and the Republicans. Over time all that happened was that health care reform has lost favorability. Now, they want to blame Fox News for their problems.

The problem if you will is that they have problems. Fox News is the messenger of their problems. If the criticism of health care reform, the war effort, and other Obama policies on Fox News and other media outlets was totally without merit President Obama would be a lot more popular. Health care reform would be law. More than that, President Obama wouldn't be taking them on. He's taking them on because they've been effective at exposing flaws, errors, and problems. Now, he wants to make them a foil to marginalize any future criticism or skepticism.

The president is taking on Fox News because he's desperate to marginalize them. It was Glenn Beck that lead the charge to oust Van Jones. Fox News has been a leader in covering ACORN. They've analyzed and hyperanalyzed health care reform. They've covered the tea parties and the town hall debates. All of these have brought criticism of Obama to the forefront. All of it has helped to erode Obama's credibility and popularity.

That's not Fox News' fault. Van Jones is a radical and all Glenn Beck did was expose that radicalism. The tea party goers and town hall attendees had serious problems with Obama and health care and all Fox News did was cover them and their criticism. Health care reform has all sorts of flaws and all Fox News did was analyze them.

The president is desperate to take on Fox News because their coverage of him has exposed flaws, scandals, and problems. They aren't on a crusade to ruin his presidency. If they were, nothing they said would matter. If the administration really had any legitimate problems with Fox News, they would be on Fox News airing them. Instead, they go on a sympathetic network, CNN, to prop them up and attack Fox News. That's weak and it's desperate. President Obama has a problem with his agenda. That's his problem, and blaming that on Fox News is an act of desperation.


Anonymous said...

"Following that, liberal Juan Williams said that if Fox News were really a Republican propaganda arm he wouldn't be on the air and would be uncomfortable coming on."

I don't remember the last time I've ever heard anyone refer to Juan Williams as liberal.

"They need a foil because they're losing in popular opinion."

Now that approval of both Obama and health care reform have started increasing again, its only fair that the onus is on you to produce a poll showing they're against it. Preferrably not a Rasmussen poll.

"They aren't on a crusade to ruin his presidency. If they were, nothing they said would matter."

Well that's half-true. Nothing they say does matter. But we live in a world were the media only covers things that don't matter. You said it the other day, the media is lazy if you are willing to do their job for them they'll give you air time.

"They've covered the tea parties and the town hall debates." They didn't just cover them. They SPONSORED them. As in, planned, hosted, and invited people to them. They create the illusion that these people represent some sort of majority, like the 2006 and 2008 elections never happened.

In the end the question still remains: Why IS the Obama White House attacking Fox News? The answer is simple: because Fox News attacked them first, and would still be attacking them regardless of whether Obama attacked back or not.

mike volpe said...

There's a lot here. I don't know what you want to call Juan Williams but he certainly isn't a conservative. If you want to call him a Democrat that's fine.

I don't know what Obama's approval is at but it isn't that high. I don't know what the approval for health care reform is at but it's not much higher than 40%. If it's stabilized and moved up a bit, so be it. That doesn't mean that people support it. Of course, there is no bill so it's hard to support something that doesn't exist.

Fox News is number one for a reason and that reason is not that they are out to destroy Obama. They are the same station they were before we ever even heard of Obama. They were number one then and they're still number one.

Fox News didn't sponsor the Tea Parties. Hannity and Beck certainly promoted them heavily but they are both commentators paid to give their opinion and their opinion is not a matter of mystery. When one million people in nearly one thousand cities show up to protest all at once, that is news.