October 13th, 2009

The strategy behind Obama’s war on Fox

Yesterday I wrote about Obama’s escalating war on Fox News.

A conversation ensued in the comments section. Some people were puzzled, asking what Obama’s goals might be, and how this could possibly further them. After all, wouldn’t this be likely to raise the viewership of Fox rather than lower it?

The answer to that latter question is “yes.” So is Obama stupid then, and will his campaign against Fox be counterproductive? The answer to that question is that it depends on what Obama’s goals are; perhaps not the obvious ones of reducing the viewership of Fox News, and/or making them more friendly to him.

As “artfldgr” writes in this comment, maybe people who don’t get what Obama is aiming at with the war on Fox are using an old template, a set of conceptions about Obama that are too straightforward, too linear, and too based on past assumptions about past presidents.

Here are my guesses as to what’s going on; they are not mutually exclusive:

(1) The war on Fox appeals to Obama’s base, which needs shoring up because he’s been insufficiently successful at getting us on the fast track to a far Left agenda.

(2) It makes him appear tough—at least about this.

(3) It solidifies Obama’s supporters (even the non-Left ones) in their own pre-existing hatred of and contempt for Fox, and also makes them less likely to watch it and learn any inconvenient truths as a result.

(4) It provides cover for his own fear of appearing on Fox, where someone might actually challenge him with some hardball questions.

(5) It angers Fox and may cause those of its pundits who are anti-Obama to take the gloves off more and more. This is turn (as commenter “Cilantro Joe” writes here) could create a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby the Obama administration aims to “provoke Fox into becoming the seething anti-Obama crusaders the administration claims they already are.” This will then give Obama more credibility with the public should the administration choose to crack down on Fox and Rush and the rest, as I wrote here, “through the mechanism of the so-called Fairness Doctrine, or through some other means such as actions resembling Chavez’s pitch for ‘democratizing’ media ownership.”

As I said, these five goals can work in concert.

Of course, there’s nothing inevitable about any of them. It might not work out this way. A substantial number of people may be driven by curiosity to Fox and end up apostates and converts, or at least frightened by some of the facts they see there about the economy, for example, enough to give their representatives a hard time. But there’s no reason to think the administration is being stupid here. Harsh, radical, and non-linear in its approach, but hardly unintelligent.

[NOTE: I happened to catch the first ten minutes or so of Glenn Beck’s program last night, which I hardly ever watch. I detected a lot of glee in his affect, and I found his constant mockery of Anita Dunn quite pointed and yet lighthearted and playful at the same time. That could backfire on Obama and Dunn, because Beck is using the Alinsky method of making them look ridiculous. I hope so, because I certainly wouldn’t want to see #5 above ever come into play.]

49 Responses to “The strategy behind Obama’s war on Fox”

  1. stan Says:

    In the end, Obama’s attack on Fox will only help conservatives. The single best thing that could happen for conservatives is for the voters who don’t pay much attention (the mushy middle that decides elections) to become convinced that news organizations are pitching propaganda.

    I’ve argued that the MSM needs to be directly confronted and called to account for the partisanship that permeates its coverage. Conservatives should make a big push to expose the propaganda and keep up the pressure.

    Obama certainly has provided cover for doing so, but anything that raises the visibility of the media as biased helps the right. If the entire electorate became convinced that all news sources are biased and should be taken with a grain of salt, conservatives would benefit.

  2. Bill West Says:

    I would add this to the list: the tactic keeps the left-leaning outlets in line. Access to the Whitehouse is valuable to a news organization. The Whitehouse will play this like a harp. Foxnews offers an example of the extreme, but those who stray will see access restricted in varying degrees.

    This is the way record promoters play radio station program directors. You want free tickets. Okay. You want a back stage pass? Maybe. You want a pass to the after party? Probably not. You want a pass to the private party in the room apart from the after party? Please. Reserved for those who produce the goods.

    Now that GE has a “place at the table”, to sell generators, transformers, jet engines and of course wind turbines, the GE-owned stations (NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, etc.) will be present and accounted for.

  3. huxley Says:

    As “artfldgr” writes in this comment, maybe people who don’t get what Obama is aiming at with the war on Fox are using an old template, a set of conceptions about Obama that are too straightforward, too linear, and too based on past assumptions about past presidents.

    However, artfldgr’s answer to the problem of understanding Obama’s Fox strategy was typically to whine on at unedited length about how smart artfldgr is and how sad it is that others, particularly myself, do not undertsand how prescient artfldgr is.

  4. The Divine Conspiracy Blog » Blog Archive » Three-Front War Says:

    […] Neo-Neocon weighs in here. Posted in Politics | No Comments » Leave a […]

  5. huxley Says:

    In any event we are back to Obamalogy — trying to read the “riddle wrapped in an enigma shrouded in mystery” that is the Obama administration.

    I always find it interesting when a group or individual behaves in a way that does not, at least at first glance, appear to be in self-interest.

    I imagine Obama is doing it for multiple reasons, and it may well net out as a blunder.

  6. huxley Says:

    My current reading of Obama is that he is roughly equal parts of ideologue, narcissist, and incompetent.

  7. Baklava Says:

    ∅bama,

    Thank You !

    Gleefully,

    Baklava

  8. Occam's Beard Says:

    Great post, neo.

    I’d add another rationale, which partially overlaps several of the five above: provide a distraction from, e.g., his dithering on Afghanistan. It’s the “Look, a puppy!” strategy.

    The media have to report something, so if necessary generate an issue for them, or take your chances with what they choose on their own. Unless Skip Gates gets arrested again (been there, done that) or there’s another shark summer (in October? Nah. Too cold.) they might start in on Afghanistan, or the floundering health care legislation. So…pick a fight (not one that will endanger that Peace Prize, of course) that will keep the media busy and out of trouble.

    And there’s yet another possible motivation: simple, garden-variety annoyance. Fox in general, and Beck in particular, has already collected several Administration scalps, and bids fair to collect a few more. To the extent that Obama feels personal affinity to ACORN and Van Jones he may be motivated to hit back at those he deems responsible for their contretemps.

  9. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    Bill West, I’m with you. Trying to appeal to President Obama’s ever-shrinking circle of hardcore supporters — that is, those he hasn’t alienated yet — could be a reason for this, although it doesn’t seem plausible to me. Trying to shore up his support from the MSM — by frightening them with lack of access — makes a lot more sense.

    Of course, if you’re a news person, what would influence you more? Getting cut off from White House access, as Fox News has? Or getting tons of new customers, as Fox News has?

    Americans tend to respond very well to business incentives. Fox News is becoming a great example of what happens to news organizations that anger the White House… and they’re laughing all the way to the bank. Will others follow the example?

    I’m not expecting Obama’s lapdogs to turn on him any time soon. But given his strong-arm tactics towards his own Fifth Estate, I have to say: it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    respectfully,
    Daniel in Brookline

  10. Baklava Says:

    ∅bama

    1/3rd of Fox News watchers are self identified Democrats.

    That is about the same percentage as the country’s cross section.

    Do the other networks have the same cross section of viewers?

    Sincerely,

    a man smarter than you

  11. Scottie Says:

    My own view is that #1 pretty much covers it.

    The administration’s need to shore up it’s base is a reaction to the problems they find themselves in as a result of their own actions.

    They are having to govern, instead of being able to sit on the sidelines and whine about how bad the other guy is governing.

    Their Monday morning quarterbacking days are over, and they have definitely exceeded the expiration date on “blame Bush” at this stage.

    They are stymied on so many issues, and there is so much widespread public opposition to their ideas, that they are beginning to show their frustrations by trying to take it out on who they see as the most visible political opposition.

    FOX, Rush, Beck, bloggers, tea partiers, etc…..

    Unfortunately for Obama and his minions, the folks they’ve targeted won’t curl into a fetal position before backing down like they are supposed to – and which is what they are used to watching the republicans do.

    In addition to declaring war on FOX being an incredibly bad idea, it is also being implemented in a clumsy, ham-handed fashion.

    Seriously, if the administration is going to go this route, at least they should attempt to do it competently!

    “Thuggish”, is an often used and apt description.

    I still have a certain faith that the majority of Americans – who are still decent people regardless of political beliefs – aren’t too keen on identifying themselves with would-be bullys who conduct themselves in this manner.

    The hardcore Obamabot will support it gleefully – but the average American won’t, and I think the more they pursue these kinds of tactics the more support they will lose.

  12. Pat Says:

    “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.” — Voltaire

    Beck and his colleagues are smiling, because their prayers have been answered.

  13. Artfldgr Says:

    However, artfldgr’s answer to the problem of understanding Obama’s Fox strategy was typically to whine on at unedited length about how smart artfldgr is and how sad it is that others, particularly myself, do not undertsand how prescient artfldgr is.

    and huxley violates the peace that he called for as i said he would. i never said anything about you huxley… YOU said you didnt know, and i claim to know.

    now your claiming to know, so that i can be seen as not knowing? this from someone that claims they dont read me.

    yes, huxley knows what i am saying because he doesnt read what i say. meanwhile, others that do, and get it, give me a nice comment.

    that must get your goat hux, you wanted that for being reasonable, and someone mentioned what i said, which was so unreasonable.

    after all, we are in a PC world, where only obama can be allowed to have skills. an individual like me must hide my abilities that makes us unequal. and in case you didnt get it, your admonitions are not the commentary of a man wishing to debate openly, but the projected whinings of someone not happy that the others are not joining his collective.

    sad really…

    so, shall we sign another truce for you to violate again?

    why dont you hang out with the fox and discuss grapes?

  14. Artfldgr Says:

    In any event we are back to Obamalogy — trying to read the “riddle wrapped in an enigma shrouded in mystery” that is the Obama administration.

    funny that you should use a quote from churchill that he used to describe soviet communism…

    “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”

    so maybe you will then use the same angle and see if you can read it from obama self interest the way that Churchill tried to understand soviet commuism and their actions.

    I always find it interesting when a group or individual behaves in a way that does not, at least at first glance, appear to be in self-interest.

    wow… instant replay…

    you can see how well that angle worked when attempting to fathom communism and the choices made by communists…

  15. Steve G Says:

    I agree with Scottie. The rest is too smart by half and would be a repeat of the Limbaugh fiasco. Unless, of course (to paraphrase the old adage said about the Hapsburg’s), liberals never forget the most inoffensive and unintended slight and never learn anything.

  16. Artfldgr Says:

    Basically they are Cargo cult… and i ahve said this before (sorry hux even though you dont read me).

    they dont understand why things dont work, everything appears to be right. they have the runway, the headphones made of coconuts, tiki torches for lights. how come the planes dont land.

    The speech is reproduced in the book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! and on many web sites. He based the phrase on a concept in anthropology, the cargo cult, which describes how some pre-scientific cultures interpreted technologically advanced visitors as religious or supernatural figures who brought boons of “cargo.” Just as cargo cultists create mock airports that fail to produce airplanes, cargo cult scientists conduct flawed research that fails to produce useful results. Feynman cautioned that to avoid becoming cargo cult scientists, researchers must first of all avoid fooling themselves, be willing to question and doubt their own theories and their own results, and investigate possible flaws in a theory or an experiment.

    He recommended that researchers adopt an unusually high level of honesty which is rarely encountered in everyday life, and gives examples from advertising, politics, and behavioral psychology to illustrate the everyday dishonesty which should be unacceptable in science. Feynman cautions that “We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.”

    if you read the actual speech and think of sociopaths. you realize that they are cargo cult because they get with appearances what others get by doign the work.

    they dont believe merit exists, they just believe the other side has better manipulators than they do.

    that is, they belive that the other side is doign what they do, andmerit is a lie. and so rather than believe there is a right side to an argument, or that people think. and so on and so forth, they believe that the other sides manipulations are more effective.

    seen in this light, they are not going after fox to stop it, or to fight it. they are going to fox to show that toe to toe they are the manipulators that are better and so all should follow them and they will get the planes to land, the factories to make things and so on.

    but the reason this ends up in despotism is that once they start heavily losing, they then say. wait a minute. why play the manipulation game when we got the guns, the law, etc. and so tey try to impose their cargo cult reality on society.

    problem is that society doesnt wan tto starve waitng for planes that will never land.

    they dont beleive or see Beck as a person with a meritocritous argument, and such. their lies, his lies, everythign is lies and manipualtion and there is nothign else. (at least whenit comes to the public). why bother with explaining things to the lumpen prosl who are stupid and a waste…

    Cargo cults thus focus on efforts to overcome what they perceive as the undue influence of the others attracting the goods, by conducting rituals imitating behavior they have observed among the holders of the desired wealth and presuming that their deities and ancestors will, at last, recognize their own people and send the cargo to them instead.

    [and like moses and the pharoh, turning sticks to snakes, they will of course go through the motions. they will go on stage with Beck, and so test their majic against beks magic. they have no idea that there is merit and that there are right answers, and so forth. so like the guys in papua, this plan is not going to land. we all know it because we dont live in an artificial reality where nothing happens when we screw up. or rather, we dont get bigger blessings for being wrong]

    Thus, a characteristic feature of cargo cults is the belief that spiritual agents will, at some future time, give much valuable cargo and desirable manufactured products to the cult members

    and thats all of what they are doing.

    they are going through the motions of what appears to work… glen beck has a talk show, and so they want all of glen becks fans to hear their manipulations against his manupulations.

    Socialists are an isolated society even within society, and so the workings of more advanced capitalist society appears like magic to them. and the principals of operation is work, when their cargo cult image (to them) gets them the fruit without the work.

    where cargo cult societies were separated by distance and knowlege.

    the left socialists are separated in mind, thought and ability. they are just as isolated and just as full of a world of false beliefs. they just think they are modern the way a beduin with a cell phone and traditional dress thinks he is just a varation of wall street…

    [edited by neo-neocon]

  17. Ymarsakar Says:

    Obama knows the power and danger of the free market, particularly liberty. When you can’t prevent people from moving where the tax breaks are, when you can’t prevent people from reading or listening to your opponents, then you have to play the game of competition utilizing fair or almost fair rules.

    But Obama has already learned how to cheat via nationalization. You don’t need to earn anything. Just nationalize. Or buy in so much that they may as well be nationalized. There’s a lot that can be done with money, power, and a manipulation of the US legal system.

    What remains to be seen is whether Beck is right that the FCC foundations were laid for a strategic advancement in this Administration, from previous Administrations which would include Bush’s.

  18. SAB Says:

    Anita Dunn doesn’t need Beck to make her look ridiculous; she is more than capable of doing that all by herself. I’m not even going to say anything about her hair. 🙂

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    Dollar loses reserve status to yen & euro

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/dollar_loses_reserve_status_to_yen_hFyfwvpBW1YYLykSJwTTEL;jsessionid=65E301CF47ED50D15170F8D6530791C5

    Over the last three months, banks put 63 percent of their new cash into euros and yen — not the greenbacks — a nearly complete reversal of the dollar’s onetime dominance for reserves, according to Barclays Capital. The dollar’s share of new cash in the central banks was down to 37 percent — compared with two-thirds a decade ago

    After printing up trillions of new dollars and new bonds to stimulate the US economy, the Federal Reserve chief is now boxed into a corner battling two separate monsters that could devour the economy — ravenous inflation on one hand, and a perilous recession on the other.

    “He’s in a crisis worse than the meltdown ever was,” said Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital. “I fear that he could be the Fed chairman who brought down the whole thing.”

    seems to be fulfilling something…

    now what is it.. no no… dont tell me hux..

    oh yeah…

    “Чтобы подавить буржуазии молоть их между жерновов налогообложения и инфляции”.

    Нравится вам или нет, но история на нашей стороне. Мы вас закопаем

    “What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable”. Concluding statement chapter 1 Communist manifesto

  20. Grimmy Says:

    There’s another angle that may apply to what the Obamanards are doing with their attempts to assault Fox or conserv radio.

    Entrenchment. A form of calling of the clans for war.

    Get your own side dug in and ready for the coming fight. I mean fight in a non metaphorical sense.

    The left has been pushing for it for decades, and the thought bosses behind the current manifestation which is Obama and his grotesquery of a cabinet/supreme overlord appointees.

    The thought bosses may be seeing this as their best chance to push the issue over the brink. They know, by direct observation, that they have a solid core of clue immune, useful idiots that will back their play regardless of how insanely stupid it is. That might go away or be diminished if they put off the fight for too much longer.

  21. yaksha Says:

    Great post. I would humbly add one more reason. The attack on Fox is a distraction. It gives conservatives something to be outraged about while the Health Care bills continue their smooth sailing towards becoming law.

  22. bad haikumenter Says:

    Axelrod and Emmanuel are ultimately selling “Barack!” the musical. For “Barack!” the musical: domestic issues do not offer opportunity for ongoing victory which builds momentum.

    Barack really can’t win domestic issues on the merits. Barack’s true goal, in so many domestic areas, is simply to expand government for purposes of fairness and of redistribution of wealth to poorer people. Such cannot be sold in America.

    Further: Domestic issues are too convoluted for a busy electorate to sort through all the competing claims and competing statistics.

    But “Barack!” the musical always needs a next act, to continue the theater experience and the adulation; always needs a new victory to build momentum.

    This is why Axelrod and Emmanuel serially select a target over which they can achieve moral victory. The audience doesn’t understand a policy trigger, yet does understand moral victory over a person wearing a black hat.

    Limbaugh. They picked him out of the blue. They might have picked him at any time. They were holding him in reserve for when they needed him, for when they needed a person in a black hat – over whom they could achieve moral victory which the audience could understand.

    Rick Santelli. Santelli’s rant actually hurt the WH, but they also used him as a man in a black hat over whom they could achieve moral victory in order to forward the plot and the momentum of “Barack!” the musical.

    Jim Cramer. Cramer is an ant. The WH used him as a man in a black hat. Look how tough and victorious our hero “Barack!” is!

    Dick Cheney. Also hurt the WH. Was also used as a man in a black hat. Notice the consistency: the WH cannot defeat Limbaugh, Santelli, Cheney on the facts or on the issues. However, the WH can defeat all of them in a contest of moral preening. The WH today claims public relations “victories” over all. Victory(!!) for “Barack!”

    Sarah Palin. Again, she hurt the WH. Again, they continued, over weeks, to distort what she said and to depict her as a villain in a black hat. Again, “Barack!” wins! A GIGANTIC moral victory! Hooray! The show goes on! Momentum builds!

    Fox News. By now you can see the pattern. Gigantic moral victory for “Barack!”

    For “Barack!”:

    Victory on an actual issue = unachievable on the merits; and at any rate is too complicated to be sold to the audience.

    Moral victory? Public relations victory which is aided by the media? YES!! Victory is “Barack!”s!!! Victory after victory after victory, continuing the next act after the next act after the next act, building momentum.

  23. southernjames Says:

    I think it is mostly 1 and 5 from Neo’s list.

    This may have been covered already, but I also think it is intended to reinfoce the “narrative” or propaganda image of “Faux” News that gets repeated, Goebels-like – so that hopefully, people who DON’T watch Fox just get it fixed in their heads and uneasy gut feeling, that Fox is “problematic” in terms of its objectivity. So when Fox does “bust” the Zero administration something, the story itself is suspect. Making it easier to flat-out ignore or sweep under the rug, or refuse to address.

    “Only FOX NEWS (warning warning, lack of credibility alert – Pavlov reaction) is even mentioning this so-called Acorn scandal – so really, this isn’t even a newsworthy topic,” so says the WH spokesperson when interviewed by Katie Couric and Co.

    I know so many people who have never listened to one minute of Rush Limbaugh, have never listened to or watched one minute of Glen Beck, have never once read anything written by Michelle Malkin (to give just three examples) – but who somehow, someway, just KNOW for CERTAIN that these people are crazy and/or racists, and/or horrible, etc., human beings, not worth discussing. 100% certainty. And who “intelligent” and “informed” people would be embarassed to even mention.

  24. expat Says:

    southernjames,

    I agree. They are using snob appeal and threatening to kick any Fox viewers out of the club.

  25. Oblio Says:

    Snob appeal is the liberal’s trustiest tool. It works much better than the race card.

  26. LabRat Says:

    There could be a simpler answer. It’s been widely observed that Obama’s never really led anything in his life; he was quite serious when he offered the example of leading his campaign as “executive experience”.

    So, we have a case of a man who’s never previously been in charge of any group of people whose explicit job description wasn’t to make him look good and sell his message and his will. And by and large, the press cooperated happily during the campaign with doing just that.

    That could be both why he’s attacking Fox and chiding the rest of the media (and lefty bloggers) for not staying on-messsage with thee WH press office; he doesn’t fully understand on an internal level that that’s not actually their job and he doesn’t have the right to ask that it be. Same with the business of having a sit-down with the NEA to brainstorm art projects that frame his message well- not so much a case of a naked (extremely clumsy) power grab as it is a case of not understanding how inappropriate it was due to that lack of experience.

  27. Scottie Says:

    Another thought to consider – I used the the word “administration” earlier for a specific reason, that reason being that I think things have progressed to the point that Obama himself doesn’t really have control anymore (if he ever did) of what’s going on in his administration.

    He’s surrounded by a bunch of yes men/women who only tell him what he wants to hear.

    His ego won’t allow for any other environment.

    Those minions owe everything they have at the moment to Obama winning the election. If he falls, they fall with him.

    Before it’s over with in 3+ years, I suspect you’ll be seeing these same rats trying to climb off the ship before it sinks.

    In the meantime, they are drunk on the power they feel they now have, and their baser instincts are coming out in blatant fashion – this latest attack on FOX being only one small clue of how they see themselves vs the rest of society.

    Anything that threatens Obama, and hence their own source of percieved power, is to be attacked as an enemy.

    Kind of a herd mentality at work, where a percieved danger doesn’t require a single leader for the herd to act in one accord.

    At any rte, I doubt Obama himself would attempt to stop such attacks – he’s of a like mind himself I think – but I do suspect that much is occurring in his name but without his direct knowledge (initially) or his direct involvement and direction.

    I’m wondering if it’s more or less a kind of *group think* thing going on now, with every little petty chief in the administration pushing his or her own agenda, knowing full well that they have a kindred spirit with Obama that will tend to indulge their inclinations.

    I find it hard to believe that one man could deliberately do as much damage in 9 months as this administration has managed to accomplish.

    Then again, I could definitely be wrong about his abilities in that regard…..

  28. MikeLL Says:

    I think we may be over thinking this by quite a bit. A few weeks ago Chris Wallace (from Fox, full disclosure) called this administration a “bunch of crybabies.” Could it be that it is just that simple?

    Think of teenage children. They think they know all the answers to everything and when their wise parents try to tell them they are wrong, they stamp their foot on the ground and yell, “I hate you, I hate you.”

    Obama seems insecure and immature to me. Every time he faces criticism he doubles down on his position and, at the same time, calls out all his sycophants to scream and yell at the opposition.

  29. Hong Says:

    Glenn Beck is the most potent weapon against the Obamamania in this country. He applies some of the best ridicule and rebuttals that I’ve seen anyone yet do and he’s reaching a broader audience with each quarter. I think this attack on Fox is the whistle to the liberal media stooges of MSNBC, CNN et all to start digging for dirt on Beck. Expect lots of slanderous material to be thrown Beck’s way in the coming weeks. Worse than the junk Limbaugh’s getting now.

  30. Vieux Charles Says:

    Obama is no Machiavelli. This is no complex play for his base while covering for his own vulnerability at actually having to appear on FOX.

    Obama’s reasoning for attacking FOX is quite simple – it’s what he does.

    Obama has a distinct modus operandi: appear moderate, faint to the middle and surreptitiously move sharply to the left.

    And when he’s caught he attacks and belittles his accuser.

  31. Ymarsakar Says:

    I agree that an attack on Fox’s credibility isolates and disaggregates potential Fox News supporters, and thus the sources of information by which true Obama corruption may be exposed.

    HG and O’Keefe struck a hard blow against ACORN because their work gave us credibility. The next time we say something about ACORN, people will think to themselves that this might be true also, given the bad things they have seen.

    But this can also apply to Fox News, if their reputation is reinforced as partisan, extremist, isolated, and biased.

  32. Sadie Says:

    (6) It’s a warning to the other news outlets –

    Twist me in the wind and I’ll black ball you. He can’t shut down the media, so he does the next thing on his list – denies access. Chavez north of the Rio Grand style.

  33. TmjUtah Says:

    Early on in his administration, Mr. Obama was quoted as remarking (in frustration) “I won” in reference to legislative opposition to his agenda.

    That moment, if understood in all its perfection of brevity and import, becomes the key to understanding this man and his gang.

    They live in a world where they are owed. They WON the election, now they get their way.

    No precedent. Certainly no morals. And the Constitution is, was, and will always be a dead letter to them.

    You cannot look into a camera and identify the President of the United States as a communist, surrounded by hoodlums, marxists, eugenicists, and radical environmentalists. Not even with stacks of their books, videos of their live speeches, nor contemporary CV’s listing their affiliation with Soros/terror/fringe groups.

    Unless you are Glenn Beck. Or Rush Limbaugh. Because they are entertainers first, media figures second. A fine line…. but people who can’t get information from “journalism” will get it elsewhere.

  34. huxley Says:

    I think we may be over thinking this by quite a bit. A few weeks ago Chris Wallace (from Fox, full disclosure) called this administration a “bunch of crybabies.” Could it be that it is just that simple?

    MikeLL: Personally I’m with you. I see as much incompetence and moral deficiency as any sort of cunningness in the Obama administration’s latest move against Fox.

    Obama and his people are constantly making short-term trades against the long-term because they remain a team fixating on campaigning as opposed to governing.

    From Obama’s limited point of view, Fox New is far more of a threat than al-Qaeda, Iran, or the Taliban.

    And we are all the poorer and less secure for that.

  35. strcpy Says:

    “MikeLL: Personally I’m with you. I see as much incompetence and moral deficiency as any sort of cunningness in the Obama administration’s latest move against Fox.”

    I’m pretty much a fan of Ocaam’s Razor: when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.

    Obama is a product of our edumacational system (as I have said many times – I refuse to call it a educational system). It doesn’t take anything more than him truly and 100% believing what is taught as being true to explain nearly everything he is doing. Indeed, his confusion when things do not go the way he is taught (along with refusal to change after noticing that) is 100% in line with that idea.

    I do not discount what people like Artfldgor post – I think that is good information on what the true movers of that system want and believe. However I see no reason to have Obama – or even his top advisers like Emmanuel or Axelrod – be part of that. Indeed I think given how they have done post-election I think they are what they appear to be.

    Who are those movers? Dunno, I’ll even say there may not be any. There may have been (and probably was at some point) some entity doing so, but I do not think that is so anymore. I think those entities lost and dissolved in the 90’s and we are seeing what they did continued without that leadership. It’s pervasive enough that it isn’t an accident but is now so haphazard to almost totally overrule an intelligent controller.

    A great AI study in Computer Science a while back showed how an organic system can self create an underlying system without a controlling mind – too long ago to find the paper. They had several highly different societies in an attempt to model ants and other highly social/structured societies that obviously have no ultra-smart mastermind.

    IMO the 60’s produced that and we are at the end game of that society – the hive minds are gone and we see the ants confused and trying to follow what they were taught. The problem is that we do not have anything to replace it, my generation (the thirty somethings) are nihilist and “nothing” isn’t remotely a real working system. Thus we are slowly but surely breaking down.

  36. West Says:

    I think that you are giving Obama way too much credit. I do not see him as having displayed any machiavellian (sp? – pardon me) traits so far, and ascribing depth to the attacks on FOX belies his history and conduct to date. Unless Obama is always playing two or three moves ahead of everyone (OK – or at least me) on EVERY SINGLE ISSUE, I see nothing more to his strategies in general than narcissism, petulance and naivete.

    In the Chicago Way, he is simply attempting to straightforwardly crush those whom he sees as enemies – it’s as simple as that.

    Never attribute to complexity what can be explained by stupidity, or something like that.

  37. West Says:

    Pardon me, in reading the thread in detail I see that many have already come to the same conclusions as I just did. Just wanted to acknowledge that. The reinforcement is gratifying, also.

  38. James Says:

    The only consistent thing about Obama is that he is a wedge.

  39. Gringo Says:

    huxley:

    From Obama’s limited point of view, Fox New is far more of a threat than al-Qaeda, Iran, or the Taliban.

    I have repeatedly gotten this message from NObama.

    Nor is he alone in that point of view. Many on the left also give that impression. They are unable to see that 1) we have enemies overseas and 2) we are not omnipotent.

    And we are all the poorer and less secure for that. a threat than al-Qaeda, Iran, or the Taliban.

    Unfortunately, true.

    The parochial viewpoint of the left, where Glenn Beck or Jimmy Swaggart are more of a threat than Bin Laden, contradicts the leftist assumption that they have a better grasp of the world outside the US than the knuckledraggers on the right.

  40. Artfldgr Says:

    we should have a thread on the left MAKING false history.

    from this fox thing… which will later label fox this way if they succeed… to the false i can see russia statement… to fake nooses, swasticas, etc.

    stuff like this…
    “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray…” phony quote has been traced back to a left-wing blogger using the handle “Cobra,” who began seeding the quote on left-wing blogs beginning in 2005. The quote has also been linked to an activist with the Communist Party-USA.

    and =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    For those of you have been watching the sad descent of LGF Blogger Charles “Nancy” Johnson into deranged moonbattery, this latest comes as sweet irony. The guy who exposed the Dan Rather TANG Memos as forgeries, is now using the Dan Rather Defense on his own allegations. Nancy posted the phony/out-of-context Rush Limbaugh quotes. When someone pointed out that it at least one was fake, Nancy shrieked “The quote is disputed, but it has not been proven false.” This is exactly how Dan Rather defends the TANG memos to this very day.

    you can put it ALL into one category of making history rather than lettig history happen.

    the whole effort on fox is to control history, not let it happen…

  41. Obama: “Not talking…is ridiculous” » The Anchoress | A First Things Blog Says:

    […] But even I would never have imagined that he would carry this over to an entire cable news network! […]

  42. Occam's Beard Says:

    Unless Obama is always playing two or three moves ahead of everyone

    I think the Skip Gates fiasco puts paid to that notion, as does (especially) the Olympics one.

    There’s nothing Europeans (of pretty much any political stripe) love more than sticking a finger in Uncle Sam’s nose. (It’s the way many feel about seeing the NY Yankees lose.)

    An American President coming over hat in hand to grovel before the Europeans to get something from them? My wife (whom I met in Europe) and I rolled our eyes and laughed. That was just was too much temptation for flesh and blood to resist. If only we had a department that was familiar with matters of state…

    So two or three steps ahead? No. Two or three steps behind looks like a better bet.

  43. Ted Says:

    Barry Soetaro calls his own guiding diplomatic principle “ridiculous”
    “…the notion that somehow not talking to them is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration – is ridiculous.”

    It adheres to the Obama Formula
    Words ≠ Actions

  44. Gringo Says:

    Ted: which shows that ∅bama and much of the left consider Fox and Rethuglicans to be greater enemies than Bin Laden and the Mullahs.

    Talk sweetly with the Mullahs, but grind the Rethuglicans into the ground.

  45. Opining Online » Obama’s “War” on Fox News Says:

    […] neo-neocon may be correct in her assessment of the strategy behind Obama’s war on Fox, I think it’s possible that she is over-thinking the whole […]

  46. Mike Says:

    This is being way overthought: Abusers don’t have strategies for attacking those around them; they have justifications after the fact.

    Politicians in general don’t rate high in the forethought area; they succeed by telling people what they want to hear right now, not by invoking “what about the day after tomorrow” – and the current group of fools is worse in this area than most.

    Fox was attacked because it seemed like a good idea at the time, or in the words of every wife beater, “The B**ch deserved it.”

    I am sure also, that like every abuser, they are genuinely confused as to why anyone thinks this is a problem.

  47. Mia Says:

    I’ve always been a Republican – but after last year when McCain ran back to sign a bailout bill, I call myself an independent fiscal/social conservative.

    Anyway, I used to think Glenn Beck was nuts. Then, he broke the story about ACORN…then Vann Jones. I have become a fan and, although I don’t watch every night – and I hate it when he gets all emotional and sheds tears (I’m very cynical)- I do watch when I have a chance. I put the coffee on about 5 minutes before 5 pm and stake my claim on the TV. In fact, my 11 y/o daughter sometimes watches (a little) with me. I (jokingly) tell her to join me for some right-wing propaganda! 😉

    I love what he’s done with the Anita Dunn story. I watched the video again online, but I can’t stand to see her tongue darting in and out of her mouth like a lizard. Her mouth seemed to be very dry because she was nervous or something.

    As for why Obama’s attacking Fox – I’m not sure. But I wouldn’t give them too much credit for being slick or wiley or having some sort of stragegy behind it. Why is he letting the Russians inspect our nuclear facilities? Why is he spending so much money? Most importantly, why did he go 70 days without talking to General McChrystal, but had the time to go off willy nilly on a mission to get the Olympics for Chicago?

  48. Ed Driscoll » The Flak Catchers Continue To Mao-Mao Says:

    […] Neo-Neocon on the five-step strategy behind Obama’s war on Fox. Filed under: Liberal Fascism, Oh, That Liberal Media!, The Memory […]

  49. Peggy Katsch Says:

    Who knows what happens next… All I know is:

    Don’t let yesterday take up to much of today. 🙂

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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