Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We have the War in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now FOX News

Washington DC- President Obama is now engaging himself in an extremely dangerous political game with the 1st amendment. In an effort to silence his largest critic, by censorship, it appears that President Obama has directed his White House Staff and Democrats to declare war on Fox News. According to Aneita Dunn, White House Communications Director, "President Obama will not be doing any interviews with Fox News anytime soon and at least through the rest of this year".
This is an unprecedented move that has not been attempted since the Nixon Administration tried it with the New York Times. No American president prior to Nixon or since has taken this type of public action despite how critical news agencies were of their policies.
The fact that Fox News has the highest viewership ratings of all of the cable news networks should give one pause to think this through very carefully before issuing such a challenge to any news organization, liberal, conservative, or independent.
Like every other cable news network or newspaper, Fox has a news organization that reports the news "fair and balanced" during the day then a line up of opinion shows at night. Apparently, Obama and liberals have a problem with that fact because they don't seem to be able to distinguish between the two. Apparently they feel that liberal news organizations, should be the only ones entitled to offer their opinions.
If you look at the Presidential election results from 2008 you will find that it was not Democrats that pushed Obama over the top but Independents or Reagan Democrats as they are often referred to. Apparently Obama has taken a tact that those Independents are no longer necessary. It will be interesting to see the outcome of alienating independent voters in the next election cycle. Also of interest when you look at Democratic comments with regards to the 9/12
protest in Washington. Conservatives were not the only group that attended. A large percentage of independents and moderate democrats also made an appearance. The comments from the White House called them an "Unruly Mob". Nancy Pelosi tried to tie them to the San Francisco protest back in 70s where left wing radicals incited a riot which lead to several, deaths, numerous injuries, massive arrests, and millions in property damage. The 9/12 protest, no arrests, no deaths, no injuries, and no property damage. In fact the area was left clean and pristine. Talking to many Reagan Democrats at several of the local tea party protests and at a couple of the town hall meetings, it is apparent that they are beginning to rethink their decision.
That might account for his continued slide in the polls.
So how does that tie in to Fox News?
What Obama has done is to alienate the largest watched cable news organization in the US and its viewers. Fox News has a larger viewing audience than CNN, CNBC, MSNBC combined. Dunn, by calling Fox a mouthpiece for the "Republican party", just lit a fuse that could explode in their face.
Fox has already set up a hot-line so that Ms. Dunn or others in the administration have a direct link to Fox and advising them that they are waiting for their call 24/7.
A quick example. When investigations by Fox, reported that over 40 members of Doctors present at the Obama White house meeting, were SEIU members, the White House labeled the story as "untrue". When I took a journalism class in college, this is known as an "non-denial denial". In other words it leaves wiggle room for the White House to retract its statement if it actually is found out to be true. Had the White House come out and called it a down right "Lie", that would have been a denial. Fox would have backed off the story, unless they did not have the facts to back up their claim. Since they continue to broadcast the claim you can assume that they believe that they have their facts straight.
Remember I mentioned Nixon and the New York Times? When Nixon tried this tact with the New York Times, it blew up in his face. The paper's circulation went up as more and more people wondered what the Nixon Administration was afraid of. It did not take long to find out.
Fox has already exposed numerous allegations that the White House has called "untrue" then
had to step back with egg on their face when the facts revealed otherwise. They have had to recant statements on several occasions, giving Fox even more credibility.
Since news media sees this type of action as a challenge Fox will become relentless. The Fox viewership is not all Republicans or Conservatives. Independents and moderate democrats also make up a percentage of the overall audience. This now gives Fox legitimacy and a "green" light" to dig deeper and deeper.
The left does not seem to understand that, whatever your opinion is of Fox news , it's irrelevant.
Obama just fired another shot into his foot by declaring he can not defend himself or his agenda in a one on one with his critics. Since Fox is an international news network it also effects his credibility outside of the US and gives rise to the natural curiosity of, "what exactly is it that Obama is afraid of?"

God Bless,


CJ said...

The 1st Amendment doesn't require anyone to take questions from particular journalists.

October 13, 2009 at 11:05 PM
John said...

I agree with you, the President has the right to refuse to answer any questions posed to him. Many have, but that is not the argument here.
The President of the United States should not single out media organizations because he does like the criticism of their opinion shows.
If Bush did that the left would have crucified him. Look at the fit they had when a conservative journalist was included in the Washington Press corp and attended one of the press briefings. Bush was forced to cancel his credentials.
The press has a legitimate right to question our
government leaders and should have free access to the man or woman at the top. To begin a campaign against one news agency because their opinion programs challenge his policies by defining them as "NOT A LEGITIMATE NEWS ORGANIZATION", come very close to censorship and interference with a legitimate news organizations right to gather the facts, which translates to "Freedom of the Press".
Even major left wing media organizations are also beginning to question the White House about this tactic.
They see it as a warning that if they disagree with the President that they will be next.

October 21, 2009 at 9:14 PM

Post a Comment