Lions and tigers and bears…oh my! Even Burt Lahr with his furry hind quarter and over-active tail showed more courage protecting Dorothy from the flying monkeys, than our own President has been able to show protecting himself from…gulp…Fox News.
The missive from the White House last week, distributed via the usual venue…the Sunday morning talk-show circuit, was that other news outlets “should not follow Fox News” and that Fox was not “a real news organization”. Not a real news organization? That’s not what the ratings say. In yet another stunning display of Obama’s incredibly thin skin, the attack on Fox is unsettling in many other ways, not the least of which is the underlying message to other media outlets…”don’t get on our enemies list.”
First, it is another chorus of whining from a White House, that as Chris Wallace said, is inhabited by the biggest bunch of babies he has ever seen. It is as American as apple pie to question and be wary of our government. Certainly, many were cynical during the Bush administration. What is this child-like aversion to disagreement and complaint? Particularly from a candidate, and now President, who has had and continues to have nothing short of adulation from nearly every other media outlet. Chris Mathews’ famous “chill” up his leg, and Keith Olberman who is…what…a news man? You’ve got to be kidding. Didn’t he recently describe Michelle Bachman as a “bag of meat”? Yes…he’s a regular Walter Cronkite.
And how about the mainstream media’s treatment of Sarah Palin? Serious news people, I suppose. Fair reporting.
There is no doubt that a few Fox News anchors are decidedly rabid when it comes to Barack Obama, but then again, so is about half of the population. To paint an entire organization with that brush, however, is ridiculous. Fox, and Roger Ailes, have built a first-class operation. Sheppard Smith presents world news with aplomb, Greta Van Sustern is as harmless as they come. Hannity and Beck are known quantities, but still…enough that the President should try to sway people away from them? Don’t follow them, don’t pay any attention. It reeks of the kind of information control that we might expect from Russia, North Korea or Iran, but not America.
And how about O’Reilly, who gave Obama a very fair interview during the final stages of the campaign and who has been very fair with Obama since he was elected. How about the stellar work that O’Reilly did with his Jessica’s Law campaign, the first time in history that a major news anchor has used his position to try and institute legislative action in every state. He was tenacious and effective, and we’ll never know how many young children were spared a violent nightmare because of his efforts. There isn’t a single politician who committed such time and energy to protecting children. Yes…that “evil” Fox News.
O’Reilly even managed to get Pepsi to pull an advertisement featuring the vile rap-star Ludicrous who is best known for his lyrics espousing the joys of women as sex toys, killing cops, and putting a “cap” in this, that and the other thing. Our own President would do himself and the country well to busy himself with such things. There has been no mention from this administration about the outrageous violence in this country or any of our other myriad social ills. Indeed, while they fine tune their strategy against Fox News, our own servicemen and women in Afghanistan continue to wait for a decision from him on whether or not they will get the additional troops they so desperately need. Obama should have been the first one to announce the lunacy of anyone in his administration worrying about a news outlet while so many critical decisions remain in flux.
“Change”. Be careful what you wish for. Increasingly, it is a shame how this man continues to spend his once significant political capital on pet projects like health care and Guantanamo Bay, while the economy and our culture continue to unspool, states, cities and towns running out of money, schools churning out under-educated and ill-equipped young people, a decaying national infrastructure, and so on and so on. He has kept one promise, though. It’s not politics as usual. It’s worse.