Home » » "Is Obama launching a new fall attack on Fox News" And does President Obama really see Fox News as "destructive"?
"Is Obama launching a new fall attack on Fox News" And does President Obama really see Fox News as "destructive"?
Written By mista sense on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | 4:05 PM
And now, as Zurawik explains, Obama himself is at it again, describing Fox as "destructive." So once again, the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, is attacking one news channel.
But let Zurawik tell the story:
Last year at this time, President Obama and his top White House advisers were about to launch a disastrous campaign against Fox News.
I say disastrous because the acting communications director, Anita Dunn, who sounded the call to arms on Howard kurtz's "Reliable Sources" show would resign within weeks, and the president and his innermost circle after going on every major non-Fox news show to attack the highest-rated cable news channel as "not really being a news channel," were in full retreat.
I was in the middle of it, a little lonely at first as one of the only mainstream journalists denouncing what the White House was up. I stressed the need for a free press -- independent from the reaches and power of any of the branches of government -- for democracy to be served.
It got nasty before journalists at other cable channels and networks who understood the principle stepped up and spoke out against an excutive branch trying to bully and browbeat a competitor. ABC's Jake Tapper, then-CNN host Campbell Brown and NBC's Savannah Guthrie were among the cable and network newscasters who ultimately challenged the White House on what it was trying to do to Fox.
And now comes President Obama in a "Rolling Stone" interview citing the very Constitutional point I made over and over while under attack from his operatives when he was asked by Jann Wenner about Fox News in a midterm-themed cover story in "Rolling Stone." And after he cites the Constitutional principle, he then goes back on the attack saying Fox News is "destructive" to the country.made over and over while under attack from his operatives when he was asked by Jann Wenner about Fox News in a midterm-themed cover story in "Rolling Stone." And after he cites the Constitutional principle, he then goes back on the attack saying Fox News is "destructive" to the country.
Here we go again -- sort of. The president seems to have learned from the mistakes of last fall's campaign against Fox. But instead of using his newly gained wisdom to respect the role of a free press, he's using it to try to be more effective in his attack on Fox News. He's trying to plug the gaping hole in last year's rationale to better disguise his partisan intent.
According to TVNewser's account of the Rolling Stone interview, here's Obama's answer after Wenner asks him is he thinks Fox News is "is a good institution for America and for democracy."
(Talk about loaded, tee-'em-up, partisan, softball questions. If the publisher of "Rolling Stone" was so concerned about what institutions were good for democracy, he should have stepped up last fall when the executive branch of government was trying to crush one of the most popular news outlets in America. Anyway, here's Obama, and please note the laughter at the question about Fox and democracy indicated in the transcript of the exchange.)
Obama: “[Laughs] Look, as president, I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We’ve got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition – it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It’s a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it’s been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it’s that Fox is very successful.”
The Cable Gamer salutes Zurawik, and hopes that other MSM-ers will join with him--and not wait so long this time.