The White House has made a public request that other news organizations isolate and alienate Fox News. Further, it has sent out top advisers to rail against the cable channel as a Republican Party mouthpiece. Moveon dot org is in full swing against Fox as well.
Like any feud, if you feed it, it will grow - just like Fox's ratings, which are now up 20% since this ballyhoo got started.
While I stand behind Obama on this, I don't hold out much hope for anything other than the fake outrage that Fox will inevitably dish out like watermelon balls at a country picnic. I just wonder what the administration is thinking bringing a knife to a gunfight that it doesn't even need to be in.
1) How valuable, exactly, are these ties that other media outlets have to Fox? How exactly does one media outlet shun another? Do they stop saying, "Hi" in the halls of the White House?
2) Don't you think that branding Fox as "opinion journalism masquerading as news" sounds an awful lot like the Republican refrain about Mainstream Media ("MSM") for the past eon and a half?
3) Don't you think it's insulting to the other news outlets that you would imply that Fox has any impact whatsoever on what they're reporting?4) Can you really blame Fox for merely trying to monetize the vast segment of the US population that doesn't really read or think for themselves? Isn't that capitalism (or capitalism's unfortunate side-effect)? I mean, journalism is a tool that some news outlets just choose not to use.
5) Wouldn't eliminating Fox from the White House pool be very similar to the deplorable tact taken by the Bush administration whereby they essentially barred certain journalists from asking questions and made them sit in the back? At least I remember being outraged by that.
6) Does focusing on Fox open you up to the criticism that you're getting distracted from the important work at hand. Namely saving the economy, fighting two wars, and fixing health care?
7) Isn't this exactly the kind of thing that rallies the tin-foil hat wearing Republican base?
Fox News contributor Karl Rove said: "This is an administration that's getting very arrogant and slippery in its dealings with people. And if you dare to oppose them, they're going to come hard at you and they're going to cut your legs off."
Karl likes to over-dramatize. But this is the kind of thing that gets into the discussion and then suddenly the administration is distracted by some stupid war of words about legs getting separated from their torsos that, frankly, they probably can't win, and not arguing over the things that actually matter - like whether the legs could have been re-attached by in-network surgeons recommended by the primary care physician under Obama's plan.
"The history of administrations that have successfully taken on the media and won is shorter than this sentence," David Carr, NYT editor, wrote over the weekend. "So far, the only winner in this latest dispute seems to be Fox News. Ratings are up 20 percent this year."
As the saying goes, never get into a war of words with an organization that buys ink by the barrel. Or as the other saying goes, "Don't fuck with Bruce Lee. Even if you're Iron Man." (OK, I might've just made that one up.)