Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Who says whom is the press?

First of all I have no problem with the following statement: "Fox News is not really a news station."


One reason I believe our country has worked so well for so long is that those scrappy, self-publishing revolutionaries who had to create the very thing they just overthrew - government - thought to make sure government never has a say in who can publish what and how.

Sure, it took them a while to get around to the first amendment, but they did it. and they did it right. I love the first amendment ... hell I love just about all of them (except maybe that prohibition thing).

First the FTC, and now Obama?  You guys gotta study up on your first amendment.  It's not long:
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Read it a couple of times.  Take notes if you need to.  You swore to uphold and defend this document, so you at least ought to understand what's in it.

Despite claims from the right that the so-called Mainstream Media (MSM) has been in bed with the administration from it's early campaign days, Obama has managed the white house's relation with the press more like Nixon than any other U.S. president - from staging press conferences to spotlighting Fox News as media enemy number one.

“They’re not really a news station,” Obama advisor David Axelrod told ABC’s This Week. “It’s not just their commentators, but a lot of their news programming if you watch, it’s really not news … .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. We’re going to participate, but understanding that they represent a point of view.”

"They're not really a news station..."  Okay, so you missed that part about not "regulating" and I'll forgive you for not seeing my earlier post where I point out how by defining what is and what isn't the "press" you are trying to regulate it.

“It’s not a news organization so much as it has a perspective,” Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said on CNN’s State of the Union. “More importantly, is to not have the CNNs and the others in the world basically be led in following Fox, as if what they’re trying to do is a legitimate news organization.”

"The White House must be panicking at the thought that the “legitimate” media will only ignore these stories for so long before the lure of bigger, Foxier ratings finally proves too much," Hot Air's Allahpundit had to say about their opening salvos on the War on Fox. "So here he and Emanuel are, leaning on them not only to ignore Fox but to ignore stories that Fox covers, as if the underlying facts are somehow tainted by association (“Let’s make sure that we keep perspective on what are the most important stories”). Creepy."

As a journalist, any time a government flak uses the word "we" when addressing me, I felt pretty creepy and like maybe I should be wrapping my knuckles in tape.

The People's Cube writer Red Square posted a highly effective satire in Obama's War on Fox News Becomes a Quagmire.
While many observers still agree that the "War on Limbaugh" is a "just and necessary war," even the former supporters of the war effort are now labeling the War on Fox an "unnecessary war of choice" and claim that the cable channel had nothing to do with Obama's falling approval numbers.

But while the President drapes his unpopular policies with concern for the well-being of American journalism, more and more editors, reporters, and even unionized janitorial staff are beginning to oppose their commander-in-chief for trying to "win" an unwinnable war with their hands, instead of just using executive powers to ban all dissenting speech.

"I would gladly sacrifice any number of my fellow Americans to advance my agenda - but this is a dumb war and a rash war," Keith Olbermann of MSNBC told The People's Cube outside a congressional office he visited to demand a government crackdown on dissidents. "Why must we in the field put our reputations on the line when this Congress has the power to simply confiscate Rupert Murdoch's assets and put Beck, Hannity, and Coulter in jail?"
Just One Minute put on an ironic smile and presented a "party" button for supporters of the president to show their loyalty.
I imagine this iconic image on buttons, posters, billboards - anywhere loyal journalists want to show their commitment to continuing the Good Fight for Hope and Change:

When we see Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper proudly wearing these buttons we will know that America's opinion leaders are going to Stay The Course To Victory!

I feel safer already.

The Tick

"Gravity is a harsh mistress!"