I do recall morons such as Christopher Buckley and political courtiers such as David Brooks waxing so lovingly about Obama “having a first class temperament” or admiring “the crease in his pants leg”. Obama can match Richard E. Nixon (yes I know it is Milhous) for paranoia and “enemies” as it is not enough to have 95% of the media in your pocket, he must have complete control such as the Kim dynasty in North Korea has.
hat – tip Powerline
by Kirsten Powers
There is no war on terror for the Obama White House, but there is one on Fox News.
In a recent interview with The New Republic, President Obama was back to his grousing about the one television news outlet in America that won’t fall in line and treat him as emperor. Discussing breaking Washington’s partisan gridlock, the president told TNR,”If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News…for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.”
Alas, the president loves to whine about the media meanies at Fox News. To him, these are not people trying to do their jobs. No, they are out to get him. What other motive could a journalist have in holding a president accountable? Why oh why do Ed Henry and Chris Wallace insist on asking hard questions? Make them stop!Alas, the president loves to whine about the media meanies at Fox News. To him, these are not people trying to do their jobs. No, they are out to get him.
The president seems more comfortable talking to “real journalists” such as Chris Hughes, who asked the question in the TNR interview that elicited Obama’s reflexive Fox hatred. Hughes is the new owner of TNR and is a former major Obama campaign donor and organizer who was featured on the cover of Fast Company, with the headline, “The Kid Who Made Obama President.” You can’t make this stuff up.
Recently, the White House has kept Fox News off of conference calls dealing with the Benghazi attack, despite Fox News being the only outlet that was regularly reporting on it and despite Fox having top notch foreign policy reporters.
They have left Chris Wallace’s “Fox News Sunday” out of a round of interviews that included CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS for not being part of a “legitimate” news network. In October 2009, as part of an Obama administration onslaught against Fox News,White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week” that the Fox News Channel is “not really a news station” and that much of the programming is “not really news.”
Whether you are liberal or conservative, libertarian, moderate or politically agnostic, everyone should be concerned when leaders of our government believe they can intentionally try to delegitimize a news organization they don’t like.
In fact, if you are a liberal – as I am – you should be the most offended, as liberalism is founded on the idea of cherishing dissent and an inviolable right to freedom of expression.
That more liberals aren’t calling out the White House for this outrageous behavior tells you something about the state of liberalism in America today.
Sure, everyone understands how some of Fox’s opinion programming would get under President Obama’s skin, the same way MSNBC from 4pm until closing time is not the favorite stop for Republicans. [……]
During the initial launch of the war on Fox News in October 2009, then-White House Communications Director Anita Dunn told the New York Times of Fox News, “[W]e don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.” On CNN, she declared that Fox was a “wing of the Republican Party.” Then: “let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”
Gosh, this sounds so familiar. In fact, it’s exactly the line that Media Matters used in a 2010 memo to donors: “Fox News is not a news organization. It is the de facto leader of the GOP, and it is long past time that it is treated as such by the media, elected officials and the public.”
In fact, this is the signature line of Media Matters in discussing Fox News, which they say they exist to destroy. Their CEO, David Brock told Politico in 2011 that their strategy was a “war on Fox” that is executed by 90 staff members and a $10 million yearly budget, gratis liberal donors.
[……] What the Obama administration is doing, and what liberals are funding at MMFA is beyond chilling – it’s a deep freeze.
On the heels of Dunn’s attack on Fox, Brock wrote a letter to progressive organizations bragging about the U.S. government trashing a news organization: “In recent days, a new level of scrutiny has been directed toward Fox News, in no small part due to statements from the White House, and from Media Matters, challenging its standing as a news organization.” Point of order: who put Media Matters in charge of determining what is and isn’t a news operation?
A Media Matters memo found its way into the public domain and if you care at all about decency and freedom of the press, it will make you throw up. If you like McCarthyism, it’s right up your alley. It details to liberal donors how they have plans to assemble opposition research on Fox News employees.
It complains of the “pervasive unwillingness among members of the media to officially kick Fox News to the curb of the press club” and outlines how they are going to change that through targeting elite media figures and turning them against Fox. They say they want to set up a legal fund to sue (harass) conservatives for any “slanderous” comments they make about progressives on air. They actually cite one of the best journalists around, Jake Tapper, as a problem because he questioned the White House about calling a news outlet “illegitimate.” Tapper can see the obvious: if the White House can call one news outlet illegitimate for asking tough questions, then guess who is next? Anyone.
We defend freedom of the press because of the principle, not because we like everything the press does. For example, I defend MSNBC’s right to run liberal programming to their hearts content.
Monitoring the media is actually a good thing; the media should be held accountable, including Fox News. When MMFA began I was supportive of their endeavor and even used some of their research. They seemed a counterbalance to conservative media monitoring organizations.
But now the mask is off. They make no bones about their intentions, and it’s not a fair media. It is clear now that the idea of freedom of the press actually offends Media Matters. In their memo, they complain about “an expansive view of legal precedent protecting the freedom of the press, and the progressive movement’s own commitment to the First Amendment” as an impediment to be overcome or changed. They say they are “consider[ing] pushing prominent progressives to stop appearing on Fox News.” For those who defy the order, they threaten to start daily publishing the names of Democrats who appear in order to shame them. If that doesn’t work, presumably they will just shave our heads and march us down Constitution Avenue.
When Anita Dunn was informing America – as a senior government official – which news organizations were “legitimate,” she conveniently deemed CNN, which rarely challenges the White House, as a “real” network. Presumably she believes MSNBC is “legitimate” also, despite their undisguised disgust of the GOP and hagiography of the president, not to mention more opinion programming than any cable outlet.
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume she thinks CBS is “legitimate” after they just ran what amounted to a 2016 ad for Hillary Clinton on “60 Minutes.” CBS is the same place that has a political director who also writes for one of the most liberal outlets in the country, Slate. Who also just wrote in that publication that the president should “pulverize” the GOP. Imagine a political director at CBS hired away from the Weekly Standard who then wrote an article about “pulverizing” Democrats. I know, I lost you at the part where CBS hired a political director from a conservative outlet.
Last week Rolling Stone editor Michael Hastings – who is a liberal and said recently that “most journalists I know are liberal” – discussed his time covering Obama on the campaign trail. Among the things he witnessed was a reporter trying to interview Obama using a sock puppet.
He told MSNBCs Martin Bashir, “That’s the presence of Obama, even on the press corps, even on the people who follow him every day. When they are near him, they lose their mind sometimes. They start behaving in ways, you know, that are juvenile and amateurish and they swoon.”
Hastings admitted that the presence of Obama made him go gooey too. “Did I ask about drones, did I ask about civil liberties? No, I did not.”
I guess this is what the White House and their friends at Media Matters call the “legitimate” media.
by Jennifer Rubin
As I have noted a couple times, Chuck Hagel has served as chairman for the Atlantic Council. His vice chairman is Chas Freeman. In a speech in Moscow on December, Freeman took to decrying the “fifth column” of disinformation agents in the United States who act on Israel’s behalf. Aside from the fact that Jews in particular have been branded for hundreds and hundreds of years as disloyal to their countries, the speech is a shocking diatribe that builds on the notion that behind any pro-Israel journalism is a “fifth column” of Jews.
A reader asks whether Freeman was actually singling out Jews. Let’s take a look.
Freeman began his speech by using a Hebrew word to describe this purported enterprise. “In the brief time available to me as a panelist, I would like to put forward some thoughts about the control of narrative and the manipulation of information as an essential element of modern warfare. The Israelis call this ‘hasbara.’ Since they are without doubt the most skilled contemporary practitioners of the art, it seems appropriate to use the Hebrew word for it. And, since Israel’s most recent war (against the Palestinians in Gaza) sputtered to an end just ten days ago, I’ll cite a few examples from that war to illustrate my main points.” [……]
He asserted these people are traitors to America: “In some countries, like the United States, Israel can rely upon a ‘fifth column’ of activist sympathizers to amplify its messages, to rebut and discredit statements that contradict its arguments, facts, and fabrications, and to impugn the moral standing of those who make such statements.” Each and every one of these fifth columnists, wouldn’t you know it, is Jewish.
He called out a Jewish organization: “[T]he Jewish Agency for Israel has sponsored an online ‘Hasbara Handbook’ for students around the world to use as advocates of Israel and its policies.” And then he cited another Jewish cabal: “The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America – an organization notorious for the viciousness of its efforts to blacken the reputations of those who criticize Israel or advance accounts of events that deviate from the official Israeli narrative by branding them as ‘anti-Semitic’ or ‘self-hating Jews.’ […….]
He was not done. Next come the rabbis: “In addition, many American rabbis see it as their duty to rally their congregations to Israel’s defense. One typical example was a rabbi who, as the Gaza fighting began, stressed to his New York congregants that ‘making yourself well informed and able to articulate Israel’s case clearly and compellingly is … important. … No slanted print media article or editorial or electronic report that is … unbalanced and unfair can be allowed to go unchallenged. … [………] All of these are our challenge. Get informed, stay informed, and let your voice be heard.’ ”
No mention was made of the thousands of Christian churches or the largest pro-Zionist organization in America, Christians United For Israel, all of which strongly support the Jewish State and work to combat media bias against Israel. (And Freeman never actually looked at whether the media is actually anti-Israel; he simply assumed it is accurate and everything to the contrary is propaganda.)
The rest of Freeman’s twisted version of Middle East events I leave to others. But can there be any doubt that this is a smear on Jewish Americans in particular? [……..] (Someone should ask Hagel at the hearing what he thinks.)
And more to the point, what is Hagel and his organization doing with someone on their board who spews this verbiage? Hagel should be asked about these words, his relationship with Freeman and why, for goodness sake, he would agree to serve with him.
Read the rest – Chuck Hagel’s colleague; So many Jews, so much disloyalty