Rich Galen

"The need an enemy," I said. The Democratic base is disenchanted with the Obama Presidency - even Saturday Night Live has decided Obama's stature has been sufficiently diminished that they can do a skit about how he hasn't accomplished any of the major goals he ran on.

The war in Afghanistan is a huge problem with the Liberal base, and Obama's apparent inability (and/or unwillingness) to hold Congressional Democrats' feet to the political fire over a public option in the health care debate is further causing head-scratching among that group.

Add to that, he hasn't paid off on "card-check" which he promised unions, and has limited his support for gay rights to speeches and dinners, and you can see why his polling numbers have settled in at just above 50 percent mark.

So, the Administration has decided to start a fight to re-energize the base. It doesn't do any good to fight with someone who is not worthy, if you want to make this strategy work you have to have the fight with someone your base already knows - and already hates.

Fox News Channel fits that bill.

If Obama can make the point stick, that Fox News is not "news", and gets his base to buy into the theory that Obama is the victim of unfair coverage, it gives the White House a rallying point.

I don't think it's having the desired effect. One of the outcomes of the political wars between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich is that the American audience for political news has become very sophisticated. They know what they want, and they know where to find it, whether it's Rachel Maddow on MSNBC or Glenn Beck on Fox.

The bigger issue is that few other news outlets - print or broadcast - have chosen to report on how dangerous this tack can be. The most dangerous type of news censorship is self-censorship.

That's where an "enemies list" can all too easily lead.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.