Thursday, October 22, 2009

White House Tries to Exclude Fox News from Interview

Hard to see how even Media Matters can defend this.

The only way to read this is that the administration was lying when it said White House officials would be available for interview by Fox News. Fortunately, as Allahpundit points out, the WH press corps closed ranks to support Fox News, not just on principle, but to ensure their own access when a Republican sits in the executive mansion.

Again, the more Obama's administration attacks Fox News, the more Fox News's stature grows and Teh One's diminishes.

Cassandra at Villainous Company notes,

The press did the right thing ... behind closed doors. But as of the time of this posting I don't see ABC, MSNBC, or CNN have any plans to inform their readers of today's events.

This is an outrage that Americans should be concerned about. During the George W. Bush administration, we were constantly told that he wanted to "stifle dissent" and shut down the press. Now, we have a president who actually wants to do these things.

Cross-posted at Common Sense Political Thought.

UPDATE: Anderson Cooper compares Obama with Nixon.

UPDATE x2: Moderate Democrats are concerned about the backlash against them from the White House's all-out push against critics. The strategy is doomed to failure; criticism of the President, any President, is normal. Expending one's energy attacking the critics makes the White House look petty and small. Remember, this President promised to bring "a different tone" to Washington and to listen to critics. Stunts like this, as well as bashing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, rightfully concerns voters who thought they were getting something different.

UPDATE x3: Interesting view of this at Balkinization.
In the long run, it will probably be better for the Administration and future Administrations not to say that Fox and its successors are not "legitimate" journalists, but that they are not actually objective journalists; instead they are members of a new party or partisan press. That model of the press may be legitimate in the twenty-first century, but politicians have obligation to treat it as they treated an earlier model of journalism.

This isn't wholly true. "Objective journalism" has been a source of debate for first-year journalism students since the Dark Ages. This idea that reporters check their biases at the White House door is bogus, as the fawning coverage of Teh One during last year's campaign illustrates. And more to the point, the President of All of Us has an obligation to answer critics, not shut them out. Remember, the purpose of newspapers--and journalism in general-- is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.