By Joseph Kellard
The White House is zeroing in on Fox News. According to the New York Times and Associated Press, the Obama administration is going on the offensive against the cable news network, which it regards as an arm of the Republican Party and as intent on tearing down the president.
“Fox’s Volley With Obama Intensifying” (Times)
“Attacking the news media is a time-honored White House tactic but to an unusual degree, the Obama administration has narrowed its sights to one specific organization, the Fox News Channel, calling it, in essence, part of the political opposition.”
“White House targets Fox as it goes after press critics” (AP)
“The White House has gone on the offensive against its critics in the press, singling out Fox News and going so far as to accuse the News Corp.-owned network of waging a ‘war against Barack Obama.’”
Here’s a key passage from this particular article:
“Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said the White House may be lashing out at Fox ‘because the Democratic base is starting to be more critical of Obama.
"‘The world was expected to be transformed in approximately a month and it just didn't quite happen that way,’ Sabato said. ‘So if you're in that position and you need to rally your base, you need to find a common enemy.’”
I remember hearing once that Bill Clinton said that while he was president, he had never heard of Rush Limbaugh. Of course, that’s a typical Clinton lie. But so long as Clinton could pretend Limbaugh didn’t exist, he could not openly attack the conservative talk radio host and threaten his freedom of speech. I’m not aware of anything Clinton may have done behind the scenes to try to silence Limbaugh, but in recent years he has made clear his contempt for certain media types, including Fox News.
On the other hand, Obama from the start of his presidency, and even during his campaign, has often publicly mentioned his critics, particularly Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Limbaugh, so much so that he is obviously disturbed (not just bothered) by them. And now he and his administration are openly targeting them. The question is, what are the next steps Obama will take, openly or behind the scenes, on his road to silence his critics.