Monday, October 19, 2009

Feuding with Fox

The White House ramped up their battle with Fox News this weekend, using appearances by advisers David Axelrod on ABC and Rahm Emanuel on CNN to continue the meme that Fox News is “not a news organization.” Mr. Axelrod told George Stephanopolous,

It’s really not news, it’s pushing a point of view and the bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours, ought not to treat them that way. And we’re not going to treat them that way, we’re going to appear on their shows and participate, but understanding that they represent a point of view.

Mr. Emanuel basically said the same thing, which means that the White House was making sure that their message out about Fox News was heard.

Fox’s response was pretty much “We are not!”, and in an ingenious display of irony, they trotted out Karl Rove to criticize the White House for “getting very arrogant and slippery in its dealings with people, and if you dare to oppose them, they’re going to come hard at you and they’re going to cut your legs off.” It’s like Karl Rove was completely unaware of what Karl Rove did when he was in the White House.

The logic of the White House taking on a cable channel owned by Rupert Murdoch may strike some as a losing game; after all, it’s the new version of the admonition against picking a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. But in reality, what has the White House got to lose? That Fox News might become more anti-Obama? Not much chance of that, and if the other news outlets pay attention to it, they might start to examine what Fox News really is.