Earlier today I praised Fox’s Kirsten Powers for her hard-hitting comments about Kroft’s fawning Obama/Clinton interview on “60 Minutes.” But I want to point out something even more important that she’s said today.
Remember that Powers is a liberal, which makes her more difficult (although hardly impossible—where there’s a will there’s a way!) for liberals to marginalize. But after all, she’s gone over to the dark side and works for the enemy, Fox.
And that’s the subject of her piece: the administration’s attitude toward the network, and why this stance is so very dangerous. Powers gets it, probably because now that she’s on Fox, she’s lived 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!…
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…
Powers knows these people, and knows they are quite legitimate. She’s beginning to think it’s the other networks that are the illegitimate ones.
But that’s not all. Still a liberal, she’s beginning to be very, very puzzled by what liberalism has turned into. Well, I have news for her; that happened a long, long time ago (although I agree that there used to be more of those principled liberals like Powers around when I was a girl):
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.
In fact, if you are a liberal – as I am – you should be the most offended, as liberalism is founded on the idea of cherishing dissent and an inviolable right to freedom of expression.
That more liberals aren’t calling out the White House for this outrageous behavior tells you something about the state of liberalism in America today.
This is the beginning of wisdom. Powers is looking around and noticing that, much to her surprise, she is pretty much alone.
I have another piece to offer that complements the Powers article, although it was written fifteen years ago, and the events it deals with occurred almost forty years ago. I refer to this piece by Herbert Stein, who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents Nixon and Ford. It appeared in Slate in 1998. In it, Stein describes his experiences during Watergate, but in the following excerpt he is talking about press coverage of the Nixon Administration in general:
…I had my own experience with the extent of bias and animosity in the press against anything having to do with Nixon. During many years in Washington, before I entered the Nixon administration, I had had friendly relations with many reporters. I was then associated with the Committee for Economic Development, the least conservative of the business organizations, and we were the “good guys” to the liberal press. But these same reporters became my enemies and, I felt, misrepresented me as soon as it became apparent I was devoted to Nixon. As it happened, one of the president’s chief pursuers in the press, Carl Bernstein, of the Washington Post, had been my neighbor in Silver Spring, Md., and a friend of my children’s. He had been a likable boy, but I put no great stock in his professionalism or objectivity. So I did not believe the press was giving an accurate account of what had happened.
That same experience of instantly becoming persona non grata once a person goes over to the dark side (in this case, serving in the Nixon Administration, even before Watergate had become a scandal) was enough to completely change the attitude of the press from friendly to combative.
I believe it has only gotten worse with the Obama adminstration, much worse. But make no mistake about it: it was already quite bad.
I’ve been focusing a lot on the press lately because it is of the utmost, utmost importance. The present-day press gladly and dutifully serves Obama, yes. But in a very real sense he is also in good part their creation, the fruit of their long labors—and their mouthpiece, as they are his, in a pernicious and dangerous little dance of mutual reinforcement and self-congratulation.