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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Glenn Beck mocked the White House’s new anti-Fox News press strategy Monday, declaring that the Obama administration now believe the fight against Fox is more important than the war in Afghanistan.
Beck then displayed a map of Manhattan and circled Fox’s headquarters, sarcastically calling Fox “the enemy” as he surrounded the spot on the map with toy tanks and barbed wire. Later, he suggested that the White House was using “your tax dollars to target the media.”
Beck was responding to Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, who told The New York Times on Sunday that the Obama administration is treating Fox News “the way we would treat an opponent.”
Dunn said that administration officials would still talk to Fox, and that President Obama was likely to be interviewed on the network in the future.
But Fox reported Monday that the channel has been told by the White House not to expect an interview with the president this year.
Here’s what Beck had to say: at NewsMax.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
by Ed Morrissey
Sources within both the intelligence and military communities tell McClatchy that Barack Obama’s White House has not been honest about the risks of moving away from a robust strategy of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. Obama and his advisers have begun publicly discussing the Taliban as a moderate alternative to al-Qaeda in terms of enemies, but the latest intelligence shows just the opposite. Taliban leadership and AQ have integrated even more tightly than ever since 9/11 and act in concert on strategy and tactics:
As the Obama administration reconsiders its Afghanistan policy, White House officials are minimizing warnings from the intelligence community, the military and the State Department about the risks of adopting a limited strategy focused on al Qaida, U.S. intelligence, diplomatic and military officials told McClatchy.
Recent U.S. intelligence assessments have found that the Taliban and other Pakistan-based groups that are fighting U.S.-led forces have much closer ties to al Qaida now than they did before 9/11, would allow the terrorist network to re-establish bases in Afghanistan and would help Osama bin Laden export his radical brand of Islam to Afghanistan’s neighbors and beyond, the officials said.
McClatchy interviewed more than 15 senior and mid-level U.S. intelligence, military and diplomatic officials, all of whom said they concurred with the assessments. All of them requested anonymity because the assessments are classified and the officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
Bob Kerrey openly wonders why the White House has begun to tread the ground of retreat, in an op-ed for today’s Wall Street Journal:
Yet despite these setbacks, our leaders must remain focused on the fact that success in Afghanistan bolsters our national security and yes, our moral reputation. This war is not Vietnam. The Taliban are not popular and have very little support other than what they secure through terror.
Afghanistan is also not Iraq. No serious leader in Kabul is asking us to leave. Instead we are being asked to withdraw by American leaders who begin their analysis with the presumption that victory is not possible. They seem to want to ensure defeat by leaving at the very moment when our military leader on the ground has laid out a coherent and compelling strategy for victory.
When it comes to foreign policy, almost nothing matters more then your friends and your enemies knowing you will keep your word and follow through on your commitments. This is the real test of presidential leadership. I hope that President Obama—soon to be a Nobel laureate—passes with flying colors
Read the rest at HotAir.com
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In an interview with CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” White House Communications Director Anita Dunn elaborates on comments she made in Time magazine about Fox News, calling the network “opinion journalism masquerading as news.”
During the interview, Dunn admits the White House is punishing Fox News for its “negative” coverage of the president–including the exclusion of Fox during Obama’s weekend media blitz last month. Despite not giving any examples of actual inaccurate reporting on Fox’s part, Dunn whined that “Fox News often operates as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.”
As ridiculous as that sounds, somehow I doubt Fox is losing sleep over the White House’s one-man boycott; the network now claims all top 10 show slots in the cable news ratings race:
Posted by: Meredith Jessup On Townhall.com see video
WASHINGTON — Confronted with big job losses and no sign the U.S. economy is ready to stand on its own, Democrats are working on a growing list of relief efforts, leaving for later how to pay for them, or whether even to bother.
Proposals include extending and perhaps expanding a popular tax credit for first-time home buyers, and creating a new credit for companies that add jobs. Taken together, the proposals look a lot like another economic stimulus package, though congressional leaders don’t want to call it that.
Democratic leaders in Congress and the White House say they have no appetite for another big spending package that adds to the federal budget deficit, which hit a record $1.4 trillion for the budget year that ended last week.
But with unemployment reaching nearly 10 percent,
many lawmakers are feeling pressure to act. Some of the proposals come from the Republicans’ playbook and focus on tax cuts, even though they, too, would swell the deficit.
“We have to do something for the unemployed, politically and economically,” said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.
The House already has voted to extend unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks for laid off workers in the 27 states where the jobless rate is 8.5 percent or above. Senate Democrats reached a deal Thursday to extend the benefits an additional 14 weeks in every state. Both proposals are paid for by extending a federal unemployment tax.
Also on the table: extending subsidies for laid-off workers to help them keep the health insurance their former employers provided, known as COBRA. The current program, which covers workers laid off through the end of the year, costs nearly $25 billion.
Congressional leaders haven’t settled on the length of an extension, or how to pay for it.
Several bills would issue extra payments to the more than 50 million Social Security recipients, to make up for the lack of a cost-of-living increase next year. One bill would set the one-time payments at $250, matching the amount paid to Social Security recipients and railroad retirees as part of the stimulus package enacted in February.
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Reading this is like watching an unassisted triple play in baseball. You see it, you pause to make sure you’ve seen what you think you’ve seen, and then you marvel at the sheer odds of it having happened. Would a big name at a big magazine like Mark Halperin really sign off on something so absurd, and so fawning in its absurdity, as to be instantly destined for infamy in the blogosphere? Of course not. The odds against it are a million to one. And yet.
This is a magic moment, my friends.
“Instantly comfortable and highly skilled at the hardest job in the world — proving his supporters’ contention that all the traits that made him a great candidate would serve him well in the White House: even temper, cool demeanor, boldness under pressure, shrewd facility for managing personnel, unfailing instincts about when to delegate and when to engage.”
There are only two more sentences after that but I can’t go on. And a good thing too: Tom Maguire and Ace got to this first and used up all the best one-liners. Follow the links for a few of the many, many reasons why a guy might not deserve an A- if his major accomplishment to date is passing a gigantic stimulus bill that was designed to cap unemployment at, um, eight percent. Exit quotation from Maguire: “I shudder to think what a B+ would have looked like.”
Update: In a sweet stroke of irony, Time was also the magazine that reported earlier today on how unhappy the White House is with its press coverage. Anyone want to make a prediction about how Halperin will backtrack from this tomorrow? I’d say it’s 50/50 between a humiliating climbdown on tomorrow’s “Morning Joe” and a sheepish “upon further review” featurette published on Time.com. Internet-only for that, of course.
Update: Perspective from the Freepers.
Update: I don’t how or why Halperin’s piece started circulating on blogs yesterday but it looks like the grade was actually part of Time’s “First 100 Days” package. I was fooled by the date on the upper right, which I thought was the date of publication but actually turns out to be today’s date. No idea why he would have earned an A- by May either, but it was more defensible at the time than it was before the long slide towards 10 percent unemployment and the ObamaCare meltdown. Sorry for the error.
More great Articles on Hot Air
By Michelle Malkin
Here’s the e-mail of the day, from a beleaguered federal employee at the Commerce Department.
Thanks to the e-mailer for giving us a revealing glimpse into the bowels of the spam-happy, appointee-overrun Obama bureaucracy.
I work for the Department of Commerce as a federal employee…and am getting rather fed up with what I have seen since last January…
Over the past couple of weeks, we have received several emails (a couple below, two received within a minute of each other) from the Commerce Secretary, Gary Locke, announcing ANOTHER new White House web site. This web site is where employees can make suggestions for how government can save money……ooooh, and win a trip to see Obama!!
What a joke after all we have seen since Obama was elected! Too bad the general public cannot submit suggestions.
I wonder how many needed items will be cut in favor of more leftist programs?
Somehow I highly doubt the following suggestions would be acceptable to them:
1. Get rid of the numerous and redundant czars.
2. Stop bailing out institutions that should probably fail like banks, car companies, unions, etc., particularly the politically connected.
3. Make Charlie Rangel pay his taxes.
4. Stop funding corrupt organizations immediately like ACORN.
5. Stop flying Air Force One (and the massive entourage) all over the world for personal reasons.
6. Stop flying in sycophantic supporters to promote your socialized health plan.
I could go on and on.
Today, another email was sent out announcing the creation of two new political appointee positions within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Just what we need. More layers of flunkies at the top taking up space.
How about saving money by not creating these positions for political cronies?
The emails follow:
Email 1… Read the rest on Michelle MalkinRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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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President Obama demeans the office of the presidency by traveling to Denmark, where he will reduce himself to the role of Billy Mays pitchman in the U.S. bid to win the 2016 Olympic games for Chicago.
The greatest asset a president of the United States has is his credibility and his time. I know because I had the privilege of being the “gate keeper” for President George W. Bush.
I was Deputy Assistant to the President for Appointments and Scheduling, Vetting and Research. I was responsible for Mr. Bush’s time management and planning. As such, I was acutely aware of how valuable and important the time of the president of the United States is.
Everyone wants the president’s time but there is only a certain amount of it that is available. It is worth its weight in gold and is a finite commodity and thus, must be protected and used wisely.
We had a saying in the White House, that if you wanted to see the president, you never will, however, if you need to see the president, you always will. The only question is to how much time you would be given.
The questions we wrestled with everyday when the senior staff wanted the president to do something went like this: is this the best use of his time, is he the right person to be doing this, is the timing right, how will it be perceived by the public and the press, and will it advance policy?
The last minute decision by the president and his staff to sell the Olympic committee on Chicago is a mistake. It fails the five-prong test I alluded to above. Here’s why:
Read Why-Bradley Blakeman Fox News OpinionRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )