White House Chief of Staff Rham Emanuel and White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod using similar talking points declared Sunday that the administration did not recognize Fox News as a news organization and encouraged other news organizations to, “side with the administration,” in this unheard of stance against the cable news network.
This attack by the top senior staffers in the White House follows a similar action taken only a few days earlier by Anita Dunn, the White House Communications Director when she accused Fox News of being nothing more than a ,”mouth piece,” for the Republican party and that in her view the news organization has no credibility because their only intent is to bring down the Obama administration.
Dunn in an earlier move following an interview conducted by Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday with the Director of Veterans Affairs in which he questioned a booklet issued by the VA which instructs Vets on how to die gracefully rather than accept treatment, Wallace was informed by Dunn that the White House would no longer send representatives to the show because Wallace, “fact checked,” the official White House line on the subject.
Ms. Dunn, isn’t fact checking the job of a journalist ? But that is only the case when the fact check has nothing to do with the rhetoric coming from the Obama White House. This is a blatant attack against the First Amendment right of freedom of the press because the reasoning behind this war with Fox News is nothing more than the news organizations balanced and concise reporting of the truth about the administration and its agenda and policy.
Fox is the only television news source that is asking the hard questions. It is the only television news source that is not just regurgitating the White House line but is actually investigating the facts and telling Americans the real truth about what is happening, good or bad, which is precisely what a news organization is supposed to do.
Throughout his campaign and extending into his Presidency, Barack Obama has been given a virtual free ride by the liberal media and has not been asked tough questions, in fact other than Fox News not one Television media source even questions anything that the administration does but rather only report what they are told by the White House.
Accusations initially began against Fox News by the White House because of conservative commentators like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck whose Fox programs are not news shows but in actuality televisions version of Opinion Editorials in the news paper. They reflect the thoughts and beliefs of the commentator. Yet even these shows have had their impact because in their own truth gathering they have revealed many problems in the administration. Most prominent was the Glenn Beck story about radical Van Jones which eventually led to his resignation as one of Obama’s many Czars.
The actual news shows on Fox like Bret Baier at 6 PM Eastern and Shepard Smith at 7 PM as well as similar programming throughout the broadcast day are true journalistic news shows that cover the news as it happens with in depth reporting that is truly fair and balanced as Fox claims. This is what troubles the Obama administration with Fox. Unlike outlets like the alphabet networks and CNN and MSNBC, Fox presents all sides of a story and does not just repeat White House talking points. Obama obviously cannot handle being questioned about what he does so therefore his administration is seeking to discredit Fox News because they report the truth no matter what that truth may be.
This fair and balanced approach by Fox unlike their competition is driving them to record ratings while all other news outlets are falling like a rock. Fox is up more than 25% over this point last year and in a non-election year. This rise in audience is unheard of outside of an election especially when the numbers Fox is competing against are FROM and election year. At any given time in the day or night Fox programing has a three and four to one audience advantage over the combined audiences of CNN, MSNBC and Headline News. Fox also beats out the NBC Nightly News and the CBS Evening News on a regular basis.
Dick Morris in a recent poll discovered that 50% of the Fox audience in made up of Democrats and Independents and not just Republicans as the administration claims, and those numbers are growing. His polling also shows that 1 out of every 5 Americans watches Fox News daily. These numbers speak for themselves. So in a war between the Obama administration and Fox News who wins ? Thus far it is Fox as the flak created by the administration is causing more to check out Fox and numbers are showing that those who view the network stick with it because of is balanced reporting.
The Founders included freedom of the press in the First Amendment almost as a fourth branch of government in order to keep the politicians and the other branches in check by scrutinizing them through journalism and informing the people of what was happening in their government. The press Constitutionally was never intended to be a mouth piece for anyone especially the President and the federal government. Yet this is what Obama expects and frankly with the exception of Fox, what he has received from the television press. Not a free press investigation and informing the people but a media propaganda machine spewing the Obama line in the fashion of Joseph Goebbels who manipulated all news for Hitlers Germany.
The last sitting President who directly took on what they considered a hostile press was Richard Nixon when he created an enemies list of journalists who were investigating him because of Watergate. The result of Nixon’s war on the press is documented historically by his resignation. It was the revelations by that very same press about the illegal activities taking place at the Nixon White House that eventually led to his downfall.
Obama’s war against Fox is benefiting the news organization and bringing harsh condemnation against the administration even from some very staunch liberal journalist. Most prominent of those is White House corespondent for the Hearst Corporation Helen Thomas, who has been on the White House beat since Andrew Jackson was President. She makes no bones about her liberal beliefs and has stated that this action by the administration is crazy and wrong. She has been critical before of Obama press practices as she challenged Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on the practice by Obama of choosing questioners at a press conference prior to the conference.
Freedom of the press is one of our basic fundamental rights and freedoms in this country. For a sitting President to challenge the right of a highly respected news organization like Fox and to attempt to discredit them while soliciting the assistance of their competition in doing so is a direct attack to freedom and our Constitution by the one individual who took an oath to protect the very Constitution he and his staff are attacking. In a war with Fox the ultimate winner will be the news organization as viewership will continue to rise. But the real looser in this type of war are the American people and the country as the President uses fascist tactics to try and prevent the truth from being told.
Ken Taylor The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth