Obama outs Fox, but reveals a big flaw
October 25, 2009
Surely President Barack Obama and his advisers don’t really think that their feud with Fox News will do anything but enhance the cable network’s viewership. A deeper problem is what the flap reveals about Team Obama, which seems to be more comfortable with campaigning than governing.
I’m not happy about that. It does not fill me with glee to see Fox News star Sean Hannity joyfully replaying Obama’s 2004 come-together speech about how we’re “not red states or blues states” but “the United States of America” and asking where is Obama’s promise now?
I don’t agree with Hannity on much. He’s only a tad more serious-minded as a news clown, in my grumpy view, than his colleague Glenn Beck. But, as much as my wife might run from the house when she hears me say it, Hannity’s right on this one.
Sure, it is disingenuous for right-wing pundits to accuse Obama of dividing the country, considering the five-star job they have done in turning us against each other. But if Obama is being judged by a different standard of civility, it is a standard he set for himself. He promised to bridge Washington’s culture wars, not fire them up.
That’s why it was disappointing to hear what every administration does sooner or later, blame media for their problems. White House communications director Anita Dunn started the fracas by calling Fox “opinion journalism masquerading as news.” Senior adviser David Axelrod and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel offered similar views and urged other media not to be led around by Fox on any stories.