The War on Fox News

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

-Obama Inaugural Address, JAN 20,2009

Other news organizations like yours ought not to treat [Fox News like a legitimate news organization.]We’re not going to treat them that way.

-David Axelrod on ABC News, October 19th 2009

The Obama administration says it is attempting to marginalize and isolate Fox News. Even if the channel’s content is biased, isn’t this a monumentally bad idea on every single level?

First of all, the administration comes off petty to all but the most fervent I’m-already-sold-on-you type supporters. The country’s in the midst of a recession, unemployment is intolerably high, the entire Washington establishment has spent the past several weeks wringing its hands over which way to go in the Afghan war, and the President’s front office ventures forth  to smack down.  .  .Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly? Come on!

Are less people going to watch the channel because of you do not like it? Fox’s ratings are up 20% this year, so that seems unlikely. Are sponsors going to bolt because of the administration’s constant chastising of the administration? Probably not. But if they do,and  if other democrats refuse to come on the showdue to pressure from the White House, is that a  good thing in this country?

If you are trying to unite the country and increase support for your policies, wouldn’t it be better to send smart people from the front office to defend your policies and decisions on the channel? Most people who watch O’Reilly do not watch Olbermann, so wouldn’t you reach more people, and perhaps change a few minds by defending your complex, life-altering policies there? And if Fox comes off as a bunch of jackasses with your people, they lose anyway. Remember Tucker Carlson and Jon Stewart? Stewart tore Carlson apart, and he wasn’t around much after that, was he?

Hopefully the administration will bury the hatchet, drop its petty grievances and send its best and brightest on Fox’s programs. You cannot unite the country on Rachel Maddow’s and George Stephanopolos’s shows alone! And It is better to use the power of persuasion to sell ideas in this country, than to encourage censorship. Leave that authoritarian message-control garbage to the Castros and Chavezes of the world, and beat your opponents out in the open, and on the air.

Update: Fox is running this clip of  its chief administration antagonist Anita Dunn extolling the virtues of Chairman Mao, responsible for totalitarian rule and millions of deaths during the cultural revolution and great leap forward, which no doubt is helping to sell more fence-sitters on the Administration’s agenda!

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3 thoughts on “The War on Fox News

  1. Fox is dead to me.

    I could consider being fair to Fox until they hired Sarah Palin. Did you see 60 Minutes last week? Even her fellow Republican campaign manager disclosed that she doesn’t understand why there is a North and South Korea.

  2. Interesting comment, though it is off the subject of the post. My point is that it is dumb for the administration to attempt to combat any news organization, especially one that millions of people watch. It is better to engage that org with your best and brightest; that way you may pick up a few fence sitters in the audience to your side, and perhaps diminish the power of media that you perceive hostile to your policies .

    And it seems the Administration agreed with me too, since they bailed on their little Fox isolation experiment about 96 hours after they launched it.

    In terms of Fox being dead to you because of Palin, that’s an odd comment. Fox news typically scoops the other news channels on key events, especially when it pertains to this administration in particular. It was also the only cable news channel to broadcast the house of rep’s healthcare debate/vote live, with commentary; MSNBC had a repeat of a prison show (Lockup) running.

    But back to palin on Fox; she apparently will have some kind of “issues” show on the channel, right? Most cable channels have these types of shows. So why would that stop you from watching this channel? Larry King interviews mostly celebrities and has a fairly spotty past (grand larceny arrests, passing bad checks, womanizing, etc.) , so is CNN dead to you, too?

    If she has a show, and it’s worth watching, people will watch, the channel will make money selling ads, and the administration would be wise to send smart people to defend their policies on it for the reasons outlined above.

    I don’t watch much tv, and I won’t be watching the show either, but I bet lots of other people will be. . .

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