Nixonian: Obama’s White House Tries Blackout of FOX News from Press “Pool” Interview with Pay Czar, Other News Stations Refuse (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on October 23, 2009
Is Barack Obama channeling his “inner Nixon” these days?
Pres. Richard Nixon was notorious for trying to play favorites and exclude those people in the press whom he considered “enemies.” He even created a lengthy, paranoid “Enemies List” that included Joe Namath, John Lennon, and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The term “Nixonian” is no compliment by any stretch.
The White House has not backed down on its disgraceful smearing, attacking, and demonizing of FOX News. Goliath hammering David. It went so far yesterday to ban FOX from the White House “pool,” a representative from each major news network, in an interview with Ken Feinberg, the administration’s “pay czar.” In an act of unity and support of the free press in America, the other news networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN — said if FOX was excluded from the press pool, they would not conduct the interview, either.
Good for them. The White House was slapped and backed down.
For now. This is getting insane.
In this video, Charles Krauthammer, Maura Liasson, and Fred Barnes talk about the astounding pettiness and arrogance of the “Chicago Way” White House and how a courageous, unified free press stood up to the bullies and made them stand down.
FOX News Panel — Barack Obama’s War on FOX News Rebuffed by Press | October 2009
Obama’s campaign against Fox News | October 2009
SMACKDOWN: Barack Obama’s War on FOX News Stopped in Its Tracks by Other Networks | October 2009
White House tries to bar Fox News from interviewing pay czar | October 2009
ABC News: David Axelrod: Fox News “Not Really a News Station” | October 2009
From National Post, Sheldon Alberts: Obama’s Nixonian attitude to enemies:
Into this rhetorical void on Wednesday stepped soft-spoken Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, who took to the Senate floor to warn the Obama White House against the perils of making permanent enemies.
Alexander made a claim that, on its face, many folks will find outrageous.
He likened Obama’s treatment of political foes to how Richard Nixon infamously compiled an “enemies list” during his final, tortured years in the Oval Office.
Now, when you put the words “Obama” and “enemies list” into the same sentence, you are courting a bit of publicity – and opening yourself to accusations of vastly overheated hyperbole.
But Alexander, who worked for Nixon in 1969 and 1970, didn’t wave his arms or raise his voice in condemnation when he delivered what was — at times — a civil appeal for bipartisanship.
Instead, he told a cautionary tale about how a beleaguered White House four decades ago circled the wagons and targeted all opponents real or imagined — to disastrous effects.
Nixon’s enemies list was conceived by White House aide Chuck Colson as a way to “use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.”
Nixon’s identified political foes quickly grew from 20 to include “hundreds of people, including Joe Namath, John Lennon, Carol Channing, Gregory Peck, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Congressional Black Caucus, Alabama Governor George Wallace,” Alexander said. Paul Newman took it as a source of pride that Nixon’s people considered him a foe worthy of mention.
In reminding Americans about Nixon’s list, Alexander made no effort to pretend that American politics — now or then — is a “gentlemanly affair.”
But Nixon crossed the line by making an “open declaration of war upon anyone who seemed to disagree with administration policies,” says Alexander, who left the West Wing before the list was compiled.
“Now the only reason I mention this is because I have an uneasy feeling, only ten months into this new administration, that we’re beginning to see symptoms of this same kind of animus developing in the Obama administration,” Alexander said.
Alexander claims only a similarity in attitude, not action, between Nixon’s White House and Obama’s.
“If the President and his top aides treat people with different views as enemies instead of listening to what they have to say, they’re likely to end up with a narrow view and a feeling that the whole world is out to get them. And as those of us who served in the Nixon administration know, that can get you into a lot of trouble,” the senator said.
“Most successful leaders have eventually seen the wisdom of Lord Palmerston, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who said, ‘We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies.’ … So here’s my point. These are unusually difficult times, with plenty of forces encouraging us to disagree. Let’s not start calling people out and compiling an enemies list. Let’s push the street-brawling out of the White House and work together on the truly presidential issues: creating jobs, reducing health care costs, reducing the debt, creating clean energy.”
Decide for yourself what the most disgraceful aspect of this is. Was it the fact that Gibbs told Jake Tapper explicitly on Monday that the White House wouldn’t try to dictate to the press pool who should and shouldn’t be included — before doing precisely that? Was it Anita Dunn going out of her way to say she respects Major Garrett as a fair reporter — before the administration decided he didn’t deserve a crack here at Feinberg? Or was it the repeated insistence by Dunn and Axelrod that of course the administration will make its officials available to Fox — before pulling the plug today?
The other networks deserve the praise they’re getting for standing up to the Baby-in-Chief, but if they had acquiesced in this freezeout, a precedent would have been set that would have been eagerly used by future Republican presidents to close them off too. And don’t think they weren’t all keenly aware of it.
From Be John Galt: White House Attempt to Polarize Fox News Fails:
Obama continues to reveal his Alinsky roots in his attempts to ‘Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It and Polarize It’. Fortunately for the country, the targets keep moving, the personalized attacks frequently backfire and the attempts at polarization haven’t been working out very well either. Fox News is the latest target and things have not quite gone according to the Alinsky blueprint. Fox ratings are moving up, Glenn Beck relishes using props to mock the White House and even the mainstream media has refused to cooperate.
So this administration had what passes for a brainstorm among that group: now that they’ve made it clear that they disapprove of one particular news network, why, there would be nothing stopping them from stepping up their attempts to marginalize said network. So the White House announced today that a specific White House Press Pool access – Ken Feinberg, who is one of the myriad ‘czars’ so beloved of this administration – would explicitly exclude Fox News. Despite the fact that the Press Pool is supported in part by Fox News.
And the media refused to play along.
Start Thinking Right: Lying, Demagogic White House Finally Gets Its Media Smackdown
The Powers That Be: NPR Analyst Issues Full and Complete Obamapology For Nixon Comparison
Hot Air: Broadcast nets rejects Obama admin’s attempt to block Fox and NYT: Obama whined about Fox News at off-the-record briefing with lefty pundits and Again: Axelrod, Emanuel attack Fox News on morning shows
Gallup: Many Americans Remain Distrusting of News Media
Crush Liberalism: Obama tries to bar Fox News from interviewing pay czar…and fails, embarrassingly so
Stage Right, Big Hollywood: ‘Sesame Street’ Trashes Fox News and ‘Sesame Street’: It’s About My Children, Not the Puppet
Jules Crittenden: Hardball Host … Likes A Softball
Colby Hall, Mediaite: The Real Reason For The White House’s Feud With Fox? Health Care Reform.
Nice Deb: How Does Obama Like Being Compared To Nixon? and Video: White House Tries To Exclude Fox News From Pay Czar Interviews
Diary of a Mad Conservative: Fox feud has unintended consequences
Cadillac Tight: Tell me another one, Steve
Patriot Burr: White House vs. FoxNews Gets Uglier
Fire Andrea Mitchell!: UNBELIEVABLE! Obama tried to ban Fox News from Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg interview
Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: Schoolyard Bully
The Strident Conservative: Bad Day At The White House? Just Blame FOX News
David Limbaugh, Townhall.com: Barack’s Enemies List
Frugal Café Blog Zone: Blame FOX News! Obama’s Approval Index Back Down to Minus 13, Record Consecutive Low, Plus Funny SNL Obama/Biden Spoof (video) and Stunning Admission: Glenn Beck Reveals That One of Anita Dunn’s Favorite Philosophers Is Murderous Mao Tse-Tung (video)
Gateway Pundit: Unreal. White House Bans FOX News from Press Pool Interview — Then Relents After Protest (Video)
Patterico’s Pontifications: Obama’s War on Fox News Escalates . . . And Other News Organizations Fight Back
Peter Schweizer, Big Government: Obama vs. The American Businessman
Protein Wisdom: An enemy too far? [Darleen Click]
Hyscience: Backlash against White House Thuggery has begun
VotingFemale Speaks!: Red China defends Anita Dunn from Glenn Beck; saying Praise of Mao is normal
Something New Every Day: The Real War
Snark and Boobs: White House Press Pool Becomes Chicago-Style Press Pool; Will Become Chavez Style Press Pool?
Freedom’s Wings: White House Can’t Take The Heat
ON MY WATCH – the writings of SamHenry: Someone’s In the Kitchen With China, Someone’s In the Kitchen I Know….
Are you Freaking Stupid?: Hugo Chavez bans news organization that attempts to ask questions about his policies. Sorry, I meant Obama.
Pat Dollard: White House Attacks Fox News As “Research Arm Of GOP”
Time, Swampland Blogs: The Cup of Coffee: White House’s David Axelrod Meets With Fox News’ Roger Ailes
The Daily Danet: Crybaby: WH comm. director whines about FNC “bias” on the network that fact checked an SNL skit (videos).
Michelle Malkin: Dear GOP: If you don’t like “Chicago-style politics”… and The bootlicker media and MoveOn demands that Democrats stay off Fox News and Who’s behind the White House war on Fox News?
Pat Dollard: CAIR: Silence Any Voice Of Opposition Through Intimidation And Hatred
Sister Toldjah: Mainstream media revolts against WH for war on Fox News and Obama WH’s war on Fox News: How Nixonian
That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill: Long Live Fox News!
Riehl World View: Obama Orders Fox From Chicken House Pool