How Fox News Outsmarted the White House

John Batchelor commentary in the Daily Beast:

The White House’s war on Fox shows its ignorance of the network’s true purpose: show business. And Team Obama is giving Murdoch just what he wants.

After David Axelrod sneaked into Roger Ailes’ office in New York to powwow on Sept. 30, the White House brain trust of David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel decided that it is shrewd and useful to attack Fox News as a Republican tool—or as White House Communications Director Anita Dunn remarked, as “a wing of the Republican Party.” It is a guess that the president is not annoyed by this tactic. It is a better guess that the White House has not had a chance, in its custard pie-throwing glee, to pause and consider why this is a stupid idea—not only unfair to all other networks that will become suspect, but also guaranteed to give comedy skits about Fox an attention around the globe not achieved since Walter Cronkite’s moon-landing moment.

What’s worse than stupid about the conspiracy theory that Fox News is a pachyderm is that it is wrong. Fox News has nothing to do with the Republican Party or its dreary state. “We go to Fox because that’s the only place that will put us on TV,” a desultory Republican source admits. “But they don’t help us by telling everyone that we suck.”…

[continues at the Daily Beast]

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  • http://www.kidvector.com/ KidVector

    Batchelor's way off the mark here. I'd argue that it's essential for any Democratic White House to view Fox as a hostile enemy and fight fire with fire. Whilst I agree Fox are great comedy value, driven by advertising revenue and indeed in the show business not the news business their ability to harm the administration can't be ignored. To do nothing is suicide, it's how they take the fight to Fox that'll be the key.

    • maccabees

      I disagree. I think that it is reprehensible that an administration would try to blackball a legitimate news orginaisation that it happens to disagree with. And that is the key here, that the White House disagrees with what it perceives FOX's political agenda is. Would you agree with this scenario had it been GWBs administration attacking and refusing to allow CNN or MSNBC or the BBC access to its officials? NO one seemed to mind too much (aside from those pesky neocons, who were all crazy in any case) when the more liberal news outlets openly attacked GWB. Me personally, I think both of our mainstream political parties suck. Having said that, I think that it is pretty amusing that when the same tactics or insults are hurled at one of the parties, their reaction of horror or amusement depends solely on whether that person agrees with the party being accused.

      • http://www.kidvector.com/ KidVector

        I challenge you to find an equivalent mainstream Democratically bias news outlet of the clout of FOX that has so deliberately set out to derail an administration. I don't think you can, I certainly don't think any of the networks you mentioned in your hypothetical attacked GWB with the same vitriol that FOX have with Obama (and leading democratic figures before him). Did any of the other news networks encourage 'Boston Tea Parties' against Obama? Thus I think it is legitimate to treat Fox as a special case.

        Also bare in mind I'm perceiving this from over in Europe and as you know we, and lets face it the rest of the civilised world, are rather relieved that Obama is in the White House and not a dim witted right-wing religious nut job.

        And as for the legitimacy of Fox News, well that's just a whole different debate.

        Here's some other thoughts on this specific topic:
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamer

        And this is why Faux News exclusively is a laughing stock overseas:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_Xtis39DxI
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJw7aOA3X3A

  • http://www.kidvector.com/ KidVector

    I challenge you to find an equivalent mainstream Democratically bias news outlet of the clout of FOX that has so deliberately set out to derail an administration. I don’t think you can, I certainly don’t think any of the networks you mentioned in your hypothetical attacked GWB with the same vitriol that FOX have with Obama (and leading democratic figures before him). Did any of the other news networks encourage ‘Boston Tea Parties’ against Obama? Thus I think it is legitimate to treat Fox as a special case.

    Also bare in mind I’m perceiving this from over in Europe and as you know we, and lets face it the rest of the civilised world, are rather relieved that Obama is in the White House and not a dim witted right-wing religious nut job.

    And as for the legitimacy of Fox News, well that’s just a whole different debate.

    Here’s some other thoughts on this specific topic:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/oct/14/fox-news-obama-white-house-war

    And this is why Faux News exclusively is a laughing stock overseas:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_Xtis39DxI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJw7aOA3X3A

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