|October 14, 2009|
|Obama Outfoxed by Fox News|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|The White House believes it shows toughness by going after the gang at Fox News. It has that all wrong. |
Toughness would be hammering out a healthcare package without crying about the need for bipartisan support during a time when Congress is lock, stock and barrel controlled by the Democrats.
Toughness would be developing an Afghanistan policy that avoids the tragedy of Vietnam.
Toughness would be advocating for a strong energy bill loaded with tough greenhouse gas emission requirements.
Toughness is not going after Fox News just because it gets under your skin. Going after Fox is a sign of weakness, not strength.
White House communications director Anita Dunn, who is in charge of the thump-the-Fox strategy, has already called programming on Fox "opinion journalism masquerading as news." The president has said that one could spend a day glued to Fox without seeing a positive story about his administration.
To me, that's case closed. Fox News isn't going to like you. You, in turn don't have to like Fox News. It's a free country.
The president has allies in MediaLand far more powerful than Fox News. The New York Times , CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS immediately come to mind.
Bashing Fox News builds ratings of Rupert Murdoch's property. It's a Fox News PR guy's dream. Bashing the channel allows showman Glenn Beck to tearfully portray himself as a martyr, one persecuted by the bullies in the White House. Beck's tears, of course, flow toward the direction of his bank.
His three million "disciples" rally around the persecuted Beck. They storm local mega-bookstores and snap up copies of his masterpiece, "Arguing with Idiots" (An apt sub-title: "It takes one to know one). Those not of the literary bent can fork over cash for a whole line of merchandise peddled by the Beckster, the self-proclaimed fuser of entertainment and enlightenment.
The White House is not going to convince a single Beck fan that their guy is an out-of-control lunatic. A typical Beck fan would rather carve out an eye than vote for Obama and the Democrats.
Likewise, anti-Foxers already dismiss the network as a right-wing mouthpiece of the Republican Party. They just tune Beck, Hannity and O’Reilly off.
So why is Team Obama wasting time and energy on attacking Fox News when there is real work to be done? Is the president using the Fox News attacks as an excuse for his less-than-stellar record of accomplishment?
Stop the whining, Team Obama. Throw that Roger Ailes dart board away. It's high time to put some meat on the bones of Obama's campaign promises.
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