Monday, October 26, 2009

The only war the administration is willing to fight

The Obama administration has finally found a war that it is more-than-willing to fight – and its not in Iraq or Afghanistan, and the enemies aren’t militant Islamic terrorists or warlords – it’s a war of words against FOX News.

While the administration plays Nero’s fiddle as Afghanistan backslides and unemployment creeps up toward 10%, it is pulling out all the stops in battling what it has publicly deemed the most important issues: health care reform most Americans are opposed to, and dirt-kicking a cable news network.

From a strategy standpoint, one wonders what in the name of Pete the administration is doing: since the row began two months ago, FOX News ratings have only gone up. Not to mention the political fallout: republicans who don’t much approve of the president’s policies aren’t being wooed, independents that put Mr. Obama in the White House are left to scratch their heads as his post-partisanship posture expires, and those on the left either already dislike FOX News and/or are concerned about more meaningful issues.

David Gergen, who has served in the White House as an adviser to Presidents: Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton said, "(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…I mean, for goodness sakes – you know, you engage in the debate.”

The fight between the White House and FOX News began in August when FOX News Sunday’s Chris Wallace fact-checked contentious allegations made by VA Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth.

Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, has stated that fact-checking an administration official was "something I've never seen a Sunday show do." By her declaration, Ms. Dunn seems to believe that any assertion or statement made by an administration official should be accepted at face-value and the American people don’t have a right to know what is and isn’t true.

FOX News has time and again asked for administration officials to come on the network to correct whatever errors might have been made however, Mr. Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, has likewise chimed in and the word is out – no administration official will be made available to FOX News – much like more troops won’t be given to the generals who request them.

-- Killswitch Politick

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Rush to judgment

Rush was blitzed out of an investment consortium by an all out media blitz that seems to be a false start. Red flags were immediately thrown by defenders and supporters but the media’s forward progress has done moved the chains just enough.

The many allegations that were repeated are now under review and it looks likely that Mr. Limbaugh has a case. But as the illegitimate quotes spread one has to wonder a few things:

Where are the sound bites?

With over twenty million listeners and constant media scrutiny, why aren’t we hearing Mr. Limbaugh in his own voice? Surely, with “quotes” and “statement” this old, there is bound to be audio proof of these remarks repeatedly attributed to the talk show host.

Where are the dates?

Okay, let’s suppose for a minute someone in Mr. Limbaugh’s mammoth audience, scores of pundits, media types don’t have the actual audio (which is precisely what is being done), then I am sure there would be dates certain, confirmed and fact checked to reference.

Where was the outrage and protest?

And if there is no certain date, then where were the protests? Where was the media frenzy? Seriously, if the man says something even remotely controversial, it passes every anchors lips as they read the copy.

Why didn’t his sponsors drop him?

So we don’t have audio, we don’t have the dates, we don’t have media circus, but surely at hearing these outrageous declarations, wouldn’t his sponsors publicly drop him to distance themselves?

-- Killswitch Politick

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