Whitehouse's War on Fox News

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Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby The Reaper » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:38 pm UTC

Fox news seems pissy about it, so I figured I'd post it to share the fun with everyone.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10 ... 925819282/
The White House escalated its offensive against Fox News on Sunday by urging other news organizations to stop "following Fox" and instead join the administration's attempt to marginalize the channel.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN that President Obama does not want "the CNNs and the others in the world [to] basically be led in following Fox."

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod went further by calling on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox is "not a news organization."

"Other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way," Axelrod counseled ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "We're not going to treat them that way."

By urging other news outlets to side with the administration, Obama aides officials dramatically upped the ante in the war of words that began earlier this month, when White House communications director Anita Dunn branded Fox "opinion journalism masquerading as news."

On Sunday, Fox's Chris Wallace retorted: "We wanted to ask Dunn about her criticism, but, as they've done every week since August, the White House refused to make any administration officials available to 'FOX News Sunday' to talk about this or anything else."

The White House stopped providing guests to 'Fox News Sunday' after Wallace fact-checked controversial assertions made by Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, in August. Dunn said fact-checking an administration official was "something I've never seen a Sunday show do."

"She criticized 'FOX News Sunday' last week for fact-checking -- fact-checking -- an administration official," Wallace said Sunday. "They didn't say that our fact-checking was wrong. They just said that we had dared to fact-check."

"Let's fact-check Anita Dunn, because last Sunday she said that Fox ignores Republican scandals, and she specifically mentioned the scandal involving Nevada senator John Ensign," Wallace added. "A number of Fox News shows have run stories about Senator Ensign. Anita Dunn's facts were just plain wrong."

Fox News senior vice president Michael Clemente said: "Surprisingly, the White House continues to declare war on a news organization instead of focusing on the critical issues that Americans are concerned about like jobs, health care and two wars. The door remains open and we welcome a discussion about the facts behind the issues."

Observers on both sides of the political aisle questioned the White House's decision to continue waging war on a news organization, saying the move carried significant political risks.

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile said on CNN: "I don't always agree with the White House. And on this one here I would disagree."

David Gergen, who has worked for Democratic and Republican presidents, said: "I totally agree with Donna Brazile." Gergen added that White House officials have "gotten themselves into a fight they don't necessarily want to be in. I don't think it's in their best interest."

"The faster they can get this behind them, the more they can treat Fox like one other organization, the easier they can get back to governing, and then put some people out on Fox," Gergen said on CNN. "I mean, for goodness sakes -- you know, you engage in the debate.

What Americans want is a robust competition of ideas, and they ought to be willing to go out there and mix it up with some strong conservatives on Fox, just as there are strong conservatives on CNN like Bill Bennett."

Bennett expressed outrage that Dunn told an audience of high school students this year that Mao Tse-tung, the founder of communist China, was one of "my favorite political philosophers."

"Having the spokesman do this, attack Fox, who says that Mao Zedong is one of the most influential figures in her life, was not…a small thing; it's a big thing," Bennett said on CNN. "When she stands up, in a speech to high school kids, says she's deeply influenced by Mao Zedong, that -- I mean, that is crazy."

Fox News contributor Karl Rove, who was the top political strategist to former President George W. Bush, said: "This is an administration that's 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."

"This is a White House engaging in its own version of the media enemies list. And it's unhelpful for the country and undignified for the president of the United States to so do," Rove added. "That is over- the-top language. We heard that before from Richard Nixon."

Media columnist David Carr of the New York Times warned that the White House war on Fox "may present a genuine problem for Mr. Obama, who took great pains during the campaign to depict himself as being above the fray of over-heated partisan squabbling."

"While there is undoubtedly a visceral thrill in finally setting out after your antagonists, the history of administrations that have successfully taken on the media and won is shorter than this sentence," Carr wrote over the weekend. "So far, the only winner in this latest dispute seems to be Fox News. Ratings are up 20 percent this year."

He added: "The administration, by deploying official resources against a troublesome media organization, seems to have brought a knife to a gunfight."
So silly, so very very silly. If FoxNews is such a problem, why acknowledge them at all?
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Cynical Idealist » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:50 pm UTC

I have this nagging feeling that this should concern me, but its being overwhelmed by a feeling of glee at someone telling Fox News to fuck off.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Spacemilk » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:52 pm UTC

I don't think there's a better way for the White House to alienate - as well as validate the views of - everyone who actually follows Fox News.

That said, the White House doesn't really have a way out of this situation. If they ignore Fox and their bullshit assertions, Fox gets to scream that no one has proved them wrong (a la the "Why hasn't Obama acknowledged our bullshit birther questions?!" strategy that Beck is so fond of). If they try to engage Fox on their points, Fox will either (a) change/twist their points, or (b) change/twist the words of the administration. If they attack Fox, we get whiny-victim articles like this.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Belial » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:57 pm UTC

Oh fox news. When your entire claim to legitimacy is that the neocons think you're superswell (instead of, you know, actually being legitimate) and so treat you as legitimate when they're in office, you shouldn't be terribly surprised if you get stomped on a bit by *any other type of administration*.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:02 pm UTC

This is more significant than people realize. While the White House can send their officials to whichever news magazines they please, leading a campaign to verbally renounce a news organization is playing fast and loose with the First Amendment.

I don't know if they've done anything wrong yet, but there's a significant difference between ignoring someone and attacking them.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Garm » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:09 pm UTC

Fox seemed supportive of the Bush administration taking on NBC, now that the shoe's on the other foot they're whining like a bunch of bitches. There seems to be this view in conservative circles that there is a fundamental disconnect between what you say and what you do (or maybe what you said last month and what you're saying this month) and that no one can be held accountable for either. Fox has been playing fast and loose with Bitch Slap Politics. Learning that if you live by the sword, you can die by the sword, is often difficult.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby setzer777 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:55 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:This is more significant than people realize. While the White House can send their officials to whichever news magazines they please, leading a campaign to verbally renounce a news organization is playing fast and loose with the First Amendment.

I don't know if they've done anything wrong yet, but there's a significant difference between ignoring someone and attacking them.


"Fast and loose"? I'm not really that knowledgeable of law, but is there any legal precedent suggesting that any sort of verbal renouncement by an administration constitutes any first-amendment related concern?
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:01 pm UTC

Fox is trash, and they certainly deserve scrutiny. However, our Constitution protects the National Enquirer and Fox News equally, and although Obama is free to deny interviews to both based on his view of their legitimacy, he is forbidden from using his position to influence or control either of them.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby mosc » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:04 pm UTC

When is ignoring someone violating their right to speak? Never. The usual response is to talk louder, and that's all fox is doing.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby setzer777 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:08 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Fox is trash, and they certainly deserve scrutiny. However, our Constitution protects the National Enquirer and Fox News equally, and although Obama is free to deny interviews to both based on his view of their legitimacy, he is forbidden from using his position to influence or control either of them.


Forbidden by what? I understand it being forbidden to use *legal* means to influence or control the press, but I've never heard of any law or court precedent limiting what the President can try to influence with public speech.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:09 pm UTC

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod went further by calling on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox is "not a news organization."
Ignoring is fine, but this is definitely a step beyond ignoring. We all might disagree on how many steps constitutes a violation of the freedom of press, but there is definitely a limit on what is acceptable.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby mosc » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:11 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod went further by calling on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox is "not a news organization."
Ignoring is fine, but this is definitely a step beyond ignoring. We all might disagree on how many steps constitutes a violation of the freedom of press, but there is definitely a limit on what is acceptable.

Let me know when the FCC cancels their broadcast license, the police close down their station, and the owner is arrested. Oh wait, you're saying this is still a free country? ;)
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Belial » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:17 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod went further by calling on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox is "not a news organization."
Ignoring is fine, but this is definitely a step beyond ignoring. We all might disagree on how many steps constitutes a violation of the freedom of press, but there is definitely a limit on what is acceptable.


You're really going to pull first amendment to say that the president cannot speak on the subject of Fox News being some trifling bullshit?

Let me say that again. You want to use the first amendment to limit speech? Really? Really?
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Dauric » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:23 pm UTC

This is very disturbing on a number of levels.

The White House / Administration thereof should not be (at least directly) in the business of determining what organizations are actually News and which are Opinion Entertainment.

It's also disturbing that as a nation we are deemed incapable of recognizing opinion from fact by the media corporations and that an Opinion Entertainment organization can masquerade as the public service of News. A lot of potentially libelous nonsense has been wrapped simultaneously in the guise of News Fact and Entertainment Opinion. Someone claiming to be reporting News claims X to be fact, then when called out on their claims and/or sources they hide under the blanket of "Entertainment" to avoid any responsibility, legal, ethical, and professional.

Walter Cronkite shocked America when he editorialized on the Vietnam war and the Tet Offensive because it was the first time any news anchor had offered an editorial. However he clearly prefaced his editorial by saying that he was adding his own editorial as a war journalist, and having observed the situation firsthand in Vietnam.

Now it may be argued that the FCC needs to be tasked with the codification of a definition of Journalism, that in order to be considered for the purposes of performing a public service of presenting the News certain kinds of standards must be upheld, like clearly separating fact from opinion, and for defining penalties to media outlets that describe as "News" something that is not. Rather like a "Truth In Packaging" for media.

However while the FCC is overseen by the Executive, this kind of this is -not- something that should be directly handled by the Administration the way FOX claims that it is.

----

All that being the case, I'd like to see something about the situation -not- written by a directly involved party. As the situation stands now it's a case of 'he-said-she-said'.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:37 pm UTC

Sounds like mister Bennett needs to read some of Mao's philosophy before proclaiming it 'crazy'.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:40 pm UTC

Belial wrote:You're really going to pull first amendment to say that the president cannot speak on the subject of Fox News being some trifling bullshit?

Let me say that again. You want to use the first amendment to limit speech? Really? Really?

That's not what I'm saying at all. The government is free to engage, ignore, or even attack the press. However, now that they have clearly entered the attack arena, they need to step carefully, because the press enjoys certain protections under the First Amendment.

I'm less concerned with the fact that they're antagonizing Fox, and more concerned that they're telling CNN how they should report on Fox.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Lumpy » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

This is just another symptom of a return to the early 1800s with news broadcasters instead of newspapers, in my opinion.

"This is a White House engaging in its own version of the media enemies list. And it's unhelpful for the country and undignified for the president of the United States to so do," Rove added. "That is over- the-top language. We heard that before from Richard Nixon."


Wait, did the White House actually say they have a media enemies list, or did they just use language to imply they admitted it by calling it an enemies list by using a pronoun with an ambiguous antecedent? "That is over-the-top language" could refer to an admission by a White House spokesperson, or to Rove's description of what the White House said.

I'm just sensitive to things like this and think things like "but you might say you'd not veto it if you end up not liking it" when they say "I will expect to see reform passed within the coming year."

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:16 pm UTC

Uh, correct me if I'm wrong here, but didn't Bush basically do the same thing with everyone but Fox News? I don't see what the big precedent here is.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Sockmonkey » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:17 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Now it may be argued that the FCC needs to be tasked with the codification of a definition of Journalism, that in order to be considered for the purposes of performing a public service of presenting the News certain kinds of standards must be upheld, like clearly separating fact from opinion, and for defining penalties to media outlets that describe as "News" something that is not. Rather like a "Truth In Packaging" for media.


I've thought this same thing for a while now.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Diadem » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:25 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod went further by calling on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox is "not a news organization."
Ignoring is fine, but this is definitely a step beyond ignoring. We all might disagree on how many steps constitutes a violation of the freedom of press, but there is definitely a limit on what is acceptable.


You're really going to pull first amendment to say that the president cannot speak on the subject of Fox News being some trifling bullshit?

Let me say that again. You want to use the first amendment to limit speech? Really? Really?

The president can say whatever he wants. But he's actively calling on other news organizations to boycot fox. That's not across the line, but it's close enough that the line can be clearly seen even in dense fog. I am uncomfortable with a government that is trying to dictate what news organizations can write.

But aside from all that. It's political suicide. What the hell does Obama think he can gain from doing this?
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:28 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:But aside from all that. It's political suicide. What the hell does Obama think he can gain from doing this?
Polarizing anti-Fox sentiment. Fox is a pretty easy target for the President to go after, and reducing this to a fight between Fox (who are basically crazy and insane) and the President (who is a moderate) makes it a choice between a gibbering fuckhead and some guy. Plus, y'know, if the Republicans start defending Fox - they get associated with Fox - and they end up looking like extremists. Which is going to do some serious damage to the Republican party (they've already got issues with looking like extremists).

I don't necessarily think it's the best ethical move, but I actually think it's a pretty savvy political one. Make the enemy look insane by attacking the crazies and rousing them to defend those crazies. Sure, you malign all those who are faithful to Fox, but they weren't going to vote for you anyway. It's always a battle for the undecideds, and if the undecideds have to pick between Glenn Beck or the President, well...

That isn't a hard choice.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Spacemilk » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:29 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:
Dauric wrote:Now it may be argued that the FCC needs to be tasked with the codification of a definition of Journalism, that in order to be considered for the purposes of performing a public service of presenting the News certain kinds of standards must be upheld, like clearly separating fact from opinion, and for defining penalties to media outlets that describe as "News" something that is not. Rather like a "Truth In Packaging" for media.

I've thought this same thing for a while now.

In theory I love this, but it seems like it'd be tough to put into practice. For example, how do you defeat the "Questioning Journalism" approach? It seems like a news station could still get away with the worst sort of bullshit if they just package it correctly; for example saying things like, "Glenn Beck hasn't denied that he may have raped and murdered a girl in 1990." Sure, you can call that news, since you are informing people of something that hasn't happened, so it's all true; but you're still casting doubt in the minds of your viewers. News stations would play havoc with the fine line between true journalism and this fake version, and they would call first amendment rights the whoooole way, even as they did something they KNOW doesn't qualify as true journalism.

And that's just one example of the bullshit they could pull. I'm sure news companies would spend millions to come up with ridiculous schemes that would completely neuter the FCC.
Diadem wrote:But aside from all that. It's political suicide. What the hell does Obama think he can gain from doing this?

Exactly. The people who will listen to Obama and boycott Fox are the kind of people who already hated Fox. The people who won't listen to Obama and will take this as a validation of their view of him already watch Fox and won't boycott it.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Sockmonkey » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:29 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Uh, correct me if I'm wrong here, but didn't Bush basically do the same thing with everyone but Fox News? I don't see what the big precedent here is.


Yeah but he did it by calling them unpatriotic and by playing the victim which lets you get away with anything.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby setzer777 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

Spacemilk wrote:
Diadem wrote:But aside from all that. It's political suicide. What the hell does Obama think he can gain from doing this?

Exactly. The people who will listen to Obama and boycott Fox are the kind of people who already hated Fox. The people who won't listen to Obama and will take this as a validation of their view of him already watch Fox and won't boycott it.


But for it to be political suicide wouldn't you have to add a clause? Namely that there is a group of people who do listen to Obama and who might vote for him but who will be turned off by him attacking Fox so directly.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:34 pm UTC

Spacemilk wrote:Exactly. The people who will listen to Obama and boycott Fox are the kind of people who already hated Fox. The people who won't listen to Obama and will take this as a validation of their view of him already watch Fox and won't boycott it.
It isn't actually about boycotting Fox. Forget about boycotting Fox. No one is going to boycott Fox. That's just silly.

It's about setting this up as a choice between a moderate with excellent speaking skills, a progressive perspective, and who happens to be a 'safe' example of a racial minority - and Glenn Beck. If Obama can reduce the Republican party to Fox News - if he can make it clear that this is the choice we're making - he is going to mop the fuck up out of the competition.

That's just my take on it, though. I mean, if I were a political adviser (and I'm certainly not!), I would call this a move to attempt and associate the Republicans with Fox News - put the Republicans in the unenviable position of having to defend them. Which means they get more associated with them, which means they come off as bigger extremists, etc...

Again, I don't think this is a good ethical move, but I think it's a pretty clever one.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Belial » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:35 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Polarizing anti-Fox sentiment. Fox is a pretty easy target for the President to go after, and reducing this to a fight between Fox (who are basically crazy and insane) and the President (who is a moderate) makes it a choice between a gibbering fuckhead and some guy. Plus, y'know, if the Republicans start defending Fox - they get associated with Fox - and they end up looking like extremists. Which is going to do some serious damage to the Republican party (they've already got issues with looking like extremists).


And because they've largely boiled their base down to just the extremists, they're equally hosed if they don't defend the gibbering fuckhead, too.
setzer777 wrote:But for it to be political suicide wouldn't you have to add a clause? Namely that there is a group of people who do listen to Obama and who might vote for him but who will be turned off by him attacking Fox so directly.


Yeah, that would be the missing piece.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Diadem » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:37 pm UTC

Well I suppose on the grand scheme of things all of this is of course quite irrelevant.

Tell you what Obama. If you fix the economy and come up with a good health-care plan - and get it through congress - I'll consider you a good president. You can trash-talk Fox as much as you like then.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:41 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Well I suppose on the grand scheme of things all of this is of course quite irrelevant.
Yes, after all, in the grand scheme of things we're nothing more than a thin layer of biology clinging desperately to a mote of dust suspended in a beam of light, hurtling at impossible speeds through a vast, endless ocean of space, one that, for all our telescopes and all our scientific might, reveals no hint of a safe and familiar shore...

Oh, you're talking about the irrelevancy of the President and what he says about Fox News.

Right, yeah. Uh, sure. That too.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby setzer777 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:41 pm UTC

Though could this be underestimating the number of people who *don't* find Fox ridiculous and crazy? I mean, personally, I'm not sure I've met anyone who voted for Bush who didn't at least feel neutral-to-mildly-annoyed with Fox (i.e. they didn't find it absolutely crazy and offensive), and there were enough supporters of Bush to win him his last election. Have attitudes towards Fox News changed since then? Or is my personal experience unrepresentative of Bush supporters in general? The latter is certainly possible, as I do live in Texas...
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Dauric » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:46 pm UTC

Spacemilk wrote:
Sockmonkey wrote:
Dauric wrote:Now it may be argued that the FCC needs to be tasked with the codification of a definition of Journalism, that in order to be considered for the purposes of performing a public service of presenting the News certain kinds of standards must be upheld, like clearly separating fact from opinion, and for defining penalties to media outlets that describe as "News" something that is not. Rather like a "Truth In Packaging" for media.

I've thought this same thing for a while now.

In theory I love this, but it seems like it'd be tough to put into practice. For example, how do you defeat the "Questioning Journalism" approach? It seems like a news station could still get away with the worst sort of bullshit if they just package it correctly; for example saying things like, "Glenn Beck hasn't denied that he may have raped and murdered a girl in 1990." Sure, you can call that news, since you are informing people of something that hasn't happened, so it's all true; but you're still casting doubt in the minds of your viewers. News stations would play havoc with the fine line between true journalism and this fake version, and they would call first amendment rights the whoooole way, even as they did something they KNOW doesn't qualify as true journalism.

And that's just one example of the bullshit they could pull. I'm sure news companies would spend millions to come up with ridiculous schemes that would completely neuter the FCC.


I agree here. I did say "It could be argued...", that is to say someone could make the argument, but I'm not the one doing it (right now). Actually in a previous post I mention that I'm not at all sure that it would actually work given how the last few administrations used the FCC as a political football to dismantle station ownership rules. Obviously if there was such a new regulation set there would have to be some part of the FCC actually monitoring what was being said to prevent abuses of the system and to make judgment calls abot the adherence to the intent of the rules (IE: something along the lines that the charge isn't substantiated, then it's hearsay and rumor, so the non-denial fails to be news since there's nothing -real- to deny.) But of course such an oversight board would have to be funded, and funding is... A political football... and we're right back where we started.

All that said I was actually making the point that while there are valid arguments towards some manner of uniform standards of journalism (not that other speech would be restricted, just that media outlets had to call a duck a duck) imposed on the industry, either by a government agency or self-imposed by the broadcasters, the White House Administration is -never- the right place for this to be coming from.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:47 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Though could this be underestimating the number of people who *don't* find Fox ridiculous and crazy? I mean, personally, I'm not sure I've met anyone who voted for Bush who didn't at least feel neutral-to-mildly-annoyed with Fox (i.e. they didn't find it absolutely crazy and offensive), and there were enough supporters of Bush to win him his last election. Have attitudes towards Fox News changed since then? Or is my personal experience unrepresentative of Bush supporters in general? The latter is certainly possible, as I do live in Texas...
As I understand it, Fox News has been getting more and more insular with its viewership - back in the day, you could watch Fox News and still think Bush was an idiot. My grandparents did, for instance - Democrats all the way, but they watched Fox News and enjoyed O'Reilly pretty thoroughly while Bush was in office. But from what I've seen, Fox News has moved more and more to the extreme right - especially with the election of Obama. I think that their audience, too, has grown more insular.

Of course, I'm sure there are plenty of people who just watch Fox News for the morning traffic reports and will respond to this whole guffaw with a loud and confused "buh?". But mostly, I think this is aimed at polarizing the growing discontent of the left at Fox News' shenanigans and channeling it to useful, political ends - getting Obama's policies through and building popular support.

Also, yeah. As Belial said - the Republicans are kind of fucked if they defend Fox, fucked if they don't. It's an unenviable position for a few of them. They'll (mostly) defend them, of course, because there is grounds that the President shouldn't be telling news organizations how to do their job (just as Bush shouldn't have been doing so during his term), and because a lot of their constituents are hard-line Fox viewers - but overall, I think it'll do more damage to them than anything, because now that association will be all the stronger. And the Republican party's biggest challenge right now is not to come off as a bunch of loonies, which is precisely what defending Fox News makes them look like.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Belial » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:53 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Also, yeah. As Belial said - the Republicans are kind of fucked if they defend Fox, fucked if they don't. It's an unenviable position for a few of them. They'll (mostly) defend them, of course, because there is grounds that the President shouldn't be telling news organizations how to do their job (just as Bush shouldn't have been doing so during his term), and because a lot of their constituents are hard-line Fox viewers - but overall, I think it'll do more damage to them than anything, because now that association will be all the stronger. And the Republican party's biggest challenge right now is not to come off as a bunch of loonies, which is precisely what defending Fox News makes them look like.


And if they drop Fox News like it's radioactive, they not only lose some traction with their own base as I mentioned, but they lose a valuable tool. Right now the republican party has the enviable permission of having Fox News say everything they can't get away with saying publicly but which benefits them greatly when it's said to their more hardcore base. It's okay because they never said it, those guys on fox news did, and you can't possibly hold the politicians responsible for that even if it does benefit them, right?

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby luketheduke » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

what bases are we talking about here? 25% reps, 25% dems, 25% undecided, 25% non-voters in the population of the US?

So the question is: How many of the undecided will interpret this as an unfair attack on Fox, and how many will agree that Fox is crazy, and how will that actually change votes in the upcoming election?

It seems like something that will either not change anything at all, or a really dangerous gambit.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Lumpy » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:06 pm UTC

Before you call FOX News fringe, I think you should consider that right now, its ratings are higher than CNN and MSNBC. Its ratings were lower than both of those during the 2008 elections. 90% of FOX News viewers supported McCain; about two-thirds of CNN and MSNBC viewers supported Obama.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Garm » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:08 pm UTC

Lumpy wrote:Before you call FOX News fringe, I think you should consider that right now, its ratings are higher than CNN and MSNBC. Its ratings were lower than both of those during the 2008 elections.


I think a lot of this can be attributed to Liberals turning off their televisions. It's been a nice summer.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Lumpy » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:12 pm UTC

That's true. CNN viewership is down 30% and MSNBC is down 10% while FOX News is only up 2%. Personally, I watched CNN a lot more during the 2008 elections because it aired so many politicians' speeches, and I don't get C-SPAN from DirectTV.

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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Dauric » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:34 pm UTC

I have to wonder how many political polls are off because it's either A) the year after an election year and certain groups need to get away from the stench of political throwing mud, B) It's not an election year so they don't care, or C) because something better wan on another channel (game consoles count as 'another channel')...
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby tzvibish » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:37 pm UTC

Instead of FOX news curling up in to a fetal position and accepting the abuse from the White House, I see them fighting back hard and attacking the other networks. Just because FOX is a little nutty at times doesn't mean the rest of cable news is squeaky clean. There's bias everywhere, and misguided statements on every news outlet. The fact that one network may be worse than others will not stop FOX from fighting back. While this may be a saavy political move, it risks starting a lose-lose war that will just make worse the general popular distrust of cable news media.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Philwelch » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:13 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Well I suppose on the grand scheme of things all of this is of course quite irrelevant.

Tell you what Obama. If you fix the economy and come up with a good health-care plan - and get it through congress - I'll consider you a good president. You can trash-talk Fox as much as you like then.


Yeah, I was about to say something similar--I guess the Taliban was too difficult a target for Obama to go after.
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Re: Whitehouse's War on Fox News

Postby Aetius » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:21 am UTC

Much like the Jets/Bills game yesterday, this is a battle I desperately want to see both sides lose.


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