Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

The President & Fox...

Political, Quality of Life, U.S.

It has been difficult to miss the growing furor over the Obama Administration's pointed side-stepping of the Fox News cable network over the past weeks.

The Administration was all over the television spectrum yesterday explaining how bad Fox News was, and just how it was going to treat them...as "the opposition".  Fox News, of course, billing itself as "fair and balanced" since its inception, has set up this dust up, and appears to be enjoying increased viewership as the result.  The regular alphabet channels and cable outlets have seen diminishing viewership for some time; interestingly that seems to parallel the span of time in which Fox has been in existence.

The Administration has refused to include Fox News in its regular distribution of "senior officials" for the usual news shows, especially the Sunday morning shows, and has made no secret of the fact that it thinks Fox News is biased against them.

There are contrasts and similarities involved in this that pique my interest. 

This Administration was going to be the most "open and transparent" Administration ever.  It was going to be the most all inclusive, so far as deliberation and debate, that we had witnessed in generations.  Those pronouncements appear to have been forgotten, or, at the least, shelved since the health care reform "debate" has not been open and transparent and appears to be going further underground as the bill-making process chugs along behind closed doors.

The last Administration I can recall that was similar in its disdain for freedom of the press was the Nixon Administration.  It maintained its own "enemies list" that was leaked over time as that Administration began its downward spiral in public opinion.  This seems curious company for an Administration aspiring to openness to be keeping.

Those are chief among the contrasts and similarities.  There is also the interesting take of the media outlets that are still found to be "okay" by the Administration.  Those outlets are also guilty of trampling upon the freedom of the press in that they are either ignoring the Administration's boycott of Fox News or are openly supportive of that boycott.

As newspapers struggle to maintain viability, and as the CNNs and MSNBCs of the cable world continue to have their lunches eaten by Fox News, this all seems somewhat surreal.  The very thing, incisive reporting, that seems to be powering the growth of Fox News, is the very thing the rest are giving short shrift.

Finally, there was a very telling remark made yesterday by David Axelrod, Obama's chief adviser, when he remarked that FOX News' owner was good at making money.  It seems that "making money" is being castigated regularly by this Administration.  The use of "class warfare" is most troubling to me.  Rather than to work at bringing down those "making money", ought it not be working to help those not making money to be enabled to do so?  Or is that contrary to the Administration's goals?

And the consuming public appears to understand that quite well.

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