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Jewish World Review
Oct. 22, 2009
The Real Flaw: Fox Is a No-Fawn Zone
Debra J. Saunders
The Obama White House's war on Fox News heated up when President Obama
appeared on five Sunday talk shows in September, but snubbed Fox's Chris
Wallace. Then White House Communications Director Anita Dunn told CNN's
Howard Kurtz, "Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm
or the communications arm of the Republican Party." On ABC's "This Week"
Sunday, Obama guru David Axelrod commented on Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch's
"talent for making money" and added that Fox News programming is "not
Such scruples, you may marvel, from the office of a president who just
spent quality time on CBS's "The Late Show" with David Letterman.
President Obama quipped that he appeared on the show to sneak a peak at
a "heart-shaped potato." I know because I read about it on the CBS News
OK, so Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., went too far in suggesting that
Obama was drafting an "enemies list." White House aides have a right to
criticize a news organization, even question its credibility.
In the same vein, pundits are free to mock the administration's risible
attempts to dress up its thin-skinned ways as love for unbiased
Note: This phony act has backfired. It set the stage for conservative
critics at World Net Daily to post a January video of Dunn telling a
Dominican government conference that the 2008 Obama campaign strategy
focused on "making the press cover what we were saying" often by not
talking to reporters. "It was very much, we controlled it," said Dunn,
"as opposed to the press controlled it."
Dunn's idea of a good journalist then would be: a zombie.
A few members of the walking dead are parroting the White House lines.
The self-styled watchdog group Media Matters, staffed by former
journalists and politicos, proclaimed Fox "a 24/7 political operation"
its way of lumping news shows with Fox's primetime opinion shows.
The irony here is: Media Matters is Fox News at its most opinionated.
As its website explains, the group's focus is "monitoring, analyzing,
and correcting conservative misinformation in the
U.S. media." (My italics, their emphasis.)
In a Newsweek column, Jacob Weisberg suggested that "respectable
journalists" like NPR's Mara Liasson should "stop appearing on" Fox
News. Weisberg complained about Fox's "all-pervasive slant" then
criticized any journalists who might try to present a liberal or
moderate point of view. Weisberg's real lament then is that Fox is not
slanted enough. It makes you wonder if the real goal of Fox critics
Weisberg anyway is to turn the network into a living hell of All
Glenn Beck All The Time.
When Republicans were in power, the answer to unwelcome speech was, of
course, more speech. They called it a dialogue. For Team Obama, however,
the antidote to unwanted comment is challenge the credentials, not only
of critics when they get their facts wrong, but any professional
associated in any way with Obama critics.
Now, I happen to agree with Obama boosters who argue that the president
has no obligation to appear on Fox News shows. If Obama and his minions
don't think they can hold their own with Chris Wallace, they are free to
cower in their comfy offices.
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