My syndicated column today follows up on yesterday’s Fox News Derangement Syndrome post. Who has Obama stocked his communications shop with, you ask? Beltway flacks for corruptocrats. Meet some of the key people behind the White House war on Fox News.
Birds of a feather…
Who’s behind the White House war on Fox News?
by Michelle Makin
White House interim communications director Anita Dunn assumed the role of lead Fox News Channel-basher this weekend. The attack was a dud. The left-leaning Nation magazine ridiculed President Obama’s press shop for turning him into the “whiner-in-chief.” AOL media columnist Jeff Bercovici called the war on Fox a “loser’s strategy” that “signals weakness.” And that’s the friendly fire.
Dunn found refuge in rival CNN’s green zone, where she blasted Fox News as a “research arm of the Republican Party.” Unhappy with headline-generating Fox News hosts who have wrested control of the news cycle from Team Obama, Dunn complained about “opinion journalism masquerading as news.”
Well, that is certainly an apt description of an Obama-sympathizing “news” segment on Wolf Blizter’s CNN Politics show, which purported to “fact check” a Saturday Night Live skit mocking the president’s lack of accomplishments. Yes, the “real” news fact-checked the fake news to cover for Obama’s deficiencies. Zero complaints from the White House communications office about that. Or about authentic CNN journalist Anderson Cooper using his prime-time show to make vulgar sexual jokes about Tea Party activists. Or about the joint White House-ABC News health care reform infomercial that aired earlier this summer.
Some “opinion journalism” is more equal than others.
Debates about the blurred lines between opinion and journalism are all well and good. But don’t the talking points-crafters in the Oval Office have something better to do than carp about the talking points they don’t like hearing on the one cable network that hasn’t been completely overrun by Obama sycophants? (Full disclosure: I’ve been a Fox News contributor since 2001.)
Where are the seasoned press gurus to help Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama appear more presidential and less petty and thuggish?
The corruptocrat affiliations of Obama’s communications team are illuminating. His press shop can’t rise above the fray because they’ve been entrenched in the Beltway fray for years. They can’t help themselves.
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All eyes are on Senate Majority Leader Reid, who has said he wants to complete the wedding quickly and get historic health care overhaul legislation onto the floor the week after next.
WASHINGTON — Health care talks slip back behind closed doors Wednesday as Senate leaders start trying to merge two very different bills into a new version that can get the 60 votes needed to guarantee its passage.
All eyes are on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who has said he wants to complete the wedding quickly and get historic health care overhaul legislation onto the floor the week after next.
Both bills were written by Democrats, but that’s not going to make it easier for Reid. They share a common goal, which is to provide all Americans with access to affordable health insurance, but they differ on how to accomplish it.
The Finance Committee bill that was approved Tuesday has no government-sponsored insurance plan and no requirement on employers that they must offer coverage. It relies instead on a requirement that all Americans obtain insurance.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill, passed earlier by a panel in which liberals predominate, calls for both a government plan to compete with private insurers and a mandate that employers help cover their workers. Those are only two of dozens of differences.
President Barack Obama acknowledges it’s not going to be easy. Speaking Tuesday in the Rose Garden, Obama called the 14-9 Finance Committee vote “a critical milestone” toward getting a health care overhaul this year. The legislation won its first Republican support when Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine broke ranks with her party, saying she was answering the call of history.
Obama wasn’t ready to bask in the bipartisan glow.
“Now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back,” he said. “Now is the time to dig in and work even harder.”
There was no victory lap either for Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana. “The bottom line here is we need a final bill, a merged bill, that gets 60 votes,” he said. “Our goal is to pass health care reform, not just talk about it.”
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By Daniel Greenfield
Brilliant misstep that was meant to honor Obama, but in reality humiliates him
Part of the fun of living under the Obama Administration is having your news headlines keep turning into April Fool’s Day. This belated April Fool’s Day, a bunch of aging left wing Norwegians decided to give away the Nobel Peace Prize to one Barack Obama… for just being himself.
This is actually a brilliant misstep that was meant to honor Obama, but in reality humiliates him, because not even his defenders at home can point to anything he’s actually done to deserve the award.
Had the Committee of Eccentric Left Wing Norwegians waited a bit and handed the award to Obama for pushing for Israeli concessions or some of his diplomatic roundtrips, it would have significantly burnished his image. Instead what they’ve done is turned both Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize into laughingstocks.
When even the same unfailingly worshipful media is seriously questioning the award, it’s not a good sign. The Committee of Incontinent Peaceloving Norwegians has said that they wanted to “encourage” Obama, which is patronizing and condescending. And it gives the entirely accurate impression of the slow kid who’s given a trophy just for showing up.
Domestically this award is a disaster for Obama. It’s something not even his closest media backers can claim he deserves. It’s not something even he can claim he deserves. It turns him into a joke. And even ABC is now running a list of Obama Nobel jokes.
About the smartest thing Obama could do now would be to decline the award, but he isn’t likely to do it. The award gives him a forum, but not a whole lot less. Mostly it shows him up as being an empty chair and the Nobel Committee as being a bunch of dishonest agitators who have no interest in rewarding achievement, only in promoting agendas.
The prize citation reads, “The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” But what “extraordinary efforts” are those, no one has any idea. And what form has this cooperation taken? No one has any idea either.
The official Nobel mandate states that the prize should be awarded, “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”. Does anyone seriously think that’s Obama?
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There was never a single moment when White House staff decided the major media outlets were falling down on the job. There were instead several such moments.
For press secretary Robert Gibbs, the realization came in early September, when the New York Times ran a front-page story about the bubbling parental outrage over President Obama’s plan to address schoolchildren — even though the benign contents of the speech were not yet public. “You had to be like, ‘Wait a minute,'” says Gibbs. “This thing has become a three-ring circus.”
For deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer, the more hyperbolic attacks on health-care reform this summer, which were often covered as a “controversy,” flipped an internal switch. “When you are having a debate about whether or not you want to kill people’s grandmother,” he explains, “the normal rules of engagement don’t apply.”
And for his boss, Anita Dunn, the aha moment came when the Washington Post ran a second op-ed from a Republican politician decrying the “32” alleged czars appointed by the Obama Administration. Nine of those so-called czars, it turned out, were subject to Senate confirmation, making them decidedly unlike the Russian monarchs. “The idea — that the Washington Post didn’t even question it,” Dunn says, still marveling at the decision.
All the criticism, both fair and misleading, took a toll, regularly knocking the White House off message. So a new White House strategy has emerged: rather than just giving reporters ammunition to “fact-check” Obama’s many critics, the White House decided it would become a player, issuing biting attacks on those pundits, politicians and outlets that make what the White House believes to be misleading or simply false claims, like the assertion that health-care reform would establish new “sex clinics” in schools. Obama, fresh from his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, cheered on the effort, telling his aides he wanted to “call ’em out.”
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Help us get the word out.
Obviously, the “main stream” media are hard of hearing and seeing. About 2 million mad-as-hell taxpayers assembling in Washington, D.C. for the largest-ever (most well-behaved ever, most respectful ever) protest did not make it onto their radar screens (or our TV screens). They need our help. Maybe we cannot repeat an assembly of 2 million mad-as-hell taxpaying patriots in one place, but surely those who longed to go and couldn’t would love to be a part of Operation “Can You Hear Us Now?” I’ll bet for every one patriot who went to D.C. there are 10-20 more who wished they could have been there as well.
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