In Crimes Against Liberty, I relate the White House's war on Fox News Channel, including Obama's snubbing the network by refusing to call on Fox reporters at his press conferences because Fox wouldn't kowtow to his demands to air his third prime-time presser. White House communications director Anita Dunn described Fox as "part of the Republican Party" and "opinion journalism masquerading as news" and recommended a "rapid response" to counteract "Fox's blows" against the administration.
When the White House was upset with The Washington Post for running an op-ed from a Republican politician decrying Obama's 32 czars without challenging it, the White House, according to Time magazine, developed a new strategy to attack pundits. "The White House decided it would become a player, issuing biting attacks on those pundits, politicians and outlets that make what the White House believes to be misleading or simply false claims." Further, "Obama, fresh from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard, cheered on the effort, telling his aides he wanted to 'call 'em out.'"
The White House blog also began regularly denouncing the administration's critics, but the most outrageous development was the reaction to all this by the White House press secretary at the time, Robert Gibbs, who said: "The only way to get somebody to stop crowding the plate is to throw a fastball at them. They move."
In The Great Destroyer, I report that when the Pleasanton Weekly, a small newspaper in California, ran a story that reflected poorly on first lady Michelle Obama (she allegedly acted dismissively toward a Marine One pilot), a White House official asked the paper's president to cut the reference from the article. The first lady's press secretary denied contact with the paper, but the paper stuck by its story and removed the offending sentence "because it was not worth making a fuss over."
The White House also reportedly banished the Boston Herald from an Obama event in Boston as punishment for printing a front-page op-ed by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
When White House press secretary Jay Carney personally called MSNBC to object to certain comments political analyst Mark Halperin had made about Obama, MSNBC immediately suspended Halperin indefinitely, according to The Daily Caller.
The White House blacklisted San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci for posting to the Internet a cellphone video of protesters at an Obama fundraiser in the Bay Area. Characteristically, the White House denied it had threatened the banishment, but the Chronicle's editor, Ward Bushee, stood by the story. Phil Bronstein, another Chronicle reporter, corroborated Bushee's story. Also, numerous other journalists confirmed that the White House had issued implied threats of additional punishment if the story of its banishment of Marinucci became public.
And so it goes.
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