Monday, October 19, 2009

The War on Fox News is a Diversion

The takeaway from the Sunday talk shows was the latest installment of the White House war against Fox News. Mike Allen at Politico has a good run down of the "highlights" such as they are from Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod from their appearances on CNN's "State of the Union" and ABC's "This Week." Axelrod went so far as to describe Fox as un-American. The rest of the sound bites consist of major insights such as this from Axelrod:
"Mr. [Rupert] Murdoch has a talent for making money, and I understand that their programming is geared toward making money. The only argument [White House communications director] Anita [Dunn] was making is that they’re not really a news station if you watch even — it’s not just their commentators, but a lot of their news programming.

"It’s really not news — it’s pushing a point of view. And the bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way, and we’re not going to treat them that way. We’re going to appear on their shows. We’re going to participate but understanding that they represent a point of view.”
This is ludicrous and Axelrod and Emmanuel surely know it.  The New York Times finds the White House decision to open a war on a third front against Fox News a loser, pointing to the Reality Check blog to debunk Fox News claims.  The Times concludes:
People who work in political communications have pointed out that it is a principle of power dynamics to “punch up “ — that is, to take on bigger foes, not smaller ones. A blog on the White House Web site that uses a “truth-o-meter” against a particular cable news network would not seem to qualify. As it is, Reality Check sounds a bit like the blog of some unemployed guy living in his parents’ basement, not an official communiqué from Pennsylvania Avenue.

The American presidency was conceived as a corrective to the royals, but trading punches with cable shouters seems a bit too common. Perhaps it’s time to restore a little imperiousness to the relationship.
Ouch, and double ouch considering this is the Times commenting on the absurdity of White House efforts here.  Perhaps this is the White House answer to the " Beck Phone" installed on the Glenn Beck Show  for them to answer his charges directly.  No doubt Beck has scored some points with his repeated exposure of the backgrounds of the Czars like Van Jones.  Answering Beck without ringing his "Beck Phone" is likely an added bonus to the real mission with the war on Fox News, however. 

Anita Dunn rolled out the first wave in this attack last week shortly after, it became apparent the lefty bloggers and members of the gay community were outraged when an unnamed source dismissed their protests the White House was not keeping promises made to the gay community.  Add to Dunn's initial charges against Fox, a sprinkling of  Rush Limbaugh NFL controversy and like magic health care and outrage from the base disappears from the headlines like magic.  The Emmanuel/Axelrod contingent must have been doing cartwheels when balloon boy took over the headlines.

The continual yammering from the left that health care must include a "robust" public option is a fly in the White House ointment to heal the wounded health care industry,  Not coincidentally the White House tossed out another serving of red meat meant to distract the left from their  "robust public option" mission when news hit the left wing blogosphere that the White House had taken another anonymous slap at one of its' union allies Gerry McAntee president of AFSCME for expecting Obama to keep his promises according to Jon Walker in a post at Firedoglake. 

The Rahm/Axelrod contingent didn't think this one all the way through.  Driving up Rush's ratings while painting him as the "titular head of the GOP" probably helped the ratings of those lagging in Fox's ratings dust.  Driving up Fox's ratings to distract the left from their "robust public option" is likely a plan the cables and evening news broadcasters are not going to find "thrilling."  Maybe they will get lucky and the balloon boy drama will drag on long enough to drop the public option and bury the results of the elections in NJ and Virginia.  If that doesn't work, I am sure there has to be another Rush Limbaugh drama they can dig up, anything to avoid  having that health care thing they are working on show up on CSPAN.
H/T: Memeorandum

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Web Analytics