From Townhall Magazine's November feature, "Fox Hunt," by Dan Gainor:
President Obama’s sensitive personality leaves him highly affected by criticism. The president, who talks about himself so often that pundits use an “I” chart to track his speeches, made an anti-Fox strategy part of his White House’s agenda, according to Edward Klein’s “The Amateur.”
Klein quoted Politics Daily columnist Peter Wehner, who said Obama is “thin-skinned”: “The president is constantly complaining about what others are saying about him. He is upset at Fox News, and conservative talk radio, and Republicans, and people carrying unflattering posters of him.”
That resulted in a very combative press strategy early in the Obama administration. Columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote in October 2009 that “the White House has declared war on Fox News.” He cited a quote from then-White House communications director Anita Dunn who said Fox was “opinion journalism masquerading as news.”
But that combat soon quieted after a very public meeting between Fox News and the Obama administration. “The White House and Fox News appear to have called a ‘truce’ in their war of words after a meeting today between Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs and Fox exec Michael Clemente,” wrote Newser.
The result, however, looked less like a truce and more like a Cold War between the two operations—a war that heated up before the 2010 midterm elections just as it did again in 2012.
In September 2010, Obama compared Fox News to the yellow journalism practiced by William Randolph Hearst.
“The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition—it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view,” Obama told Rolling Stone.
He didn’t stop there, pointing out that Fox, “as an economic enterprise,” has “been wildly successful.” But he added he not only disagreed with the previously referenced point of view, “It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the longterm growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world.”
Journalist David Corn’s book “Showdown” explained that Obama blamed Fox for the midterm losses and losing “white males”: “‘Fed by Fox News,’ he [Obama] said, ‘they hear Obama is a Muslim 24/7, and it begins to seep in.’”
Now in 2012, with the president’s political future on the line, Team Obama is targeting what he once called the “one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration.
Twitchy founder and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin thinks it’s more than just Fox’s programming.
“I think the Obama administration detests Fox News not merely for its editorial programming, but for its commercial success and the longevity of its dominance,” Malkin tells Townhall.
“The Left hates competition and diversity,” she added.
Read more of our in-depth feature by ordering the November issue of Townhall Magazine.
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