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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 
Kirsten Powers needs to get out more

by digby

Kirsten Powers is hopping mad:

There is no war on terror for the Obama White House, but there is one on Fox News.

In a recent interview with The New Republic, President Obama was back to his grousing about the one television news outlet in America that won’t fall in line and treat him as emperor. Discussing breaking Washington's partisan gridlock, the president told TNR,"If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News...for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it."

Alas, the president loves to whine about the media meanies at Fox News. To him, these are not people trying to do their jobs. No, they are out to get him. What other motive could a journalist have in holding a president accountable? Why oh why do Ed Henry and Chris Wallace insist on asking hard questions? Make them stop![...]

This latest volley from the president is just one in a long line of comments from his White House as part of their campaign to silence any dissent they detect in the press corps.
Recently, the White House has kept Fox News off of conference calls dealing with the Benghazi attack, despite Fox News being the only outlet that was regularly reporting on it and despite Fox having top notch foreign policy reporters.

They have left Chris Wallace’s "Fox News Sunday" out of a round of interviews that included CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS for not being part of a “legitimate” news network. In October 2009, as part of an Obama administration onslaught against Fox News,White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week” that the Fox News Channel is "not really a news station" and that much of the programming is "not really news."

Whether you are liberal or conservative, libertarian, moderate or politically agnostic, everyone should be concerned when leaders of our government believe they can intentionally try to delegitimize a news organization they don’t like.

Oh please:

Let the fence-mending begin. According to a Broadcasting & Cable source in Washington, D.C., CBS News president Andrew Heyward, along with Washington bureau chief Janet Leissner, recently met with White House communications director Dan Bartlett, in part to repair chilly relations with the Bush administration.

CBS News’ popularity at the White House—never high to begin with—plunged further in the wake of Dan Rather’s discredited 60 Minutes story on George Bush’s National Guard service.

An incentive for making nice is the impending report from the two-member panel investigating CBS's use of now-infamous documents for the 60 Minutes piece.

Heyward was “working overtime to convince Bartlett that neither CBS News nor Rather had a vendetta against the White House,” our source says, “and from here on out would do everything it could to be fair and balanced.” CBS declined to comment.

And they went way out of their way to make that happen:

In the July 21 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer, columnist Gail Shister quoted CBS chairman Les Moonves: "That's not the end-all, be-all, but obviously the White House doesn't hate CBS anymore with [Bob] Schieffer in the anchor chair." But far from hating CBS, the White House has reason to embrace the network and its selection of Schieffer to serve as interim anchor following Dan Rather's departure as anchor of the CBS Evening News. Schieffer has previously described his "golfing friendship" with President Bush "during the 1990s" and has said, "It's always difficult to cover someone you know personally." Following the announcement that Schieffer would moderate the third and final presidential debate last year, Media Matters for America noted several statements Schieffer had made that raised questions about his objectivity.

Moreover, Shister wrote: "Moonves says Schieffer is looked upon kindly at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue because his brother, John Thomas Schieffer, was ambassador to Australia (he was posted to Japan in February), and was partners with the future President Bush in the Texas Rangers."

Perhaps Kirsten Powers is too young to know this but conservatives have been trying to "delegitimize" the so-called liberal media for decades. Let's start with good old Brent Bozell:

The Media Research Center (MRC) is a conservative content analysis organization based in Alexandria, Virginia, founded in 1987 by conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III. Its stated mission is to "prove — through sound scientific research — that liberal bias in the media does exist and undermines traditional American values" and to "neutralize [that bias's] impact on the American political scene".

And these guys:

S. Robert Lichter, Stanley Rothman and Linda Lichter wrote The Media Elite in 1986, in which journalists' political views and voting record were compared to the general public.

Bob Kohn wrote Journalistic Fraud, a criticism of The New York Times.

John Stossel wrote Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media in 2004 about what he alleged was a liberal bias in the established media.

Bernard Goldberg wrote Bias in 2001, in which he claimed CBS, his former employer, had a liberal bias. In 2009, he published A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media.

Ann Coulter wrote Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right in 2002, in which she claimed the American television and print news had a widespread liberal bias.

Brian C. Anderson wrote South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias
Tim Groseclose wrote Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.

Hey, Paul Ryan said this as recently as back in October:

"It goes without saying that there is definitely media bias. I think most people in the mainstream media are left of center and, therefore, they want a very left-of-center president versus a conservative president like Mitt Romney."

I'm fairly sure that Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch started Fox News in response to this critique. That's why they use the laughably inaccurate "fair and balanced" slogan.

Kirsten probably doesn't know all this because she lives in the Fox bubble where right wing conservatism represents everyone in the country. She needs to get out more. This "war" started long before Fox even existed. And it was the right that started it.


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