It's never, ever his fault:
President Barack Obama blamed Fox News for his political woes in a private meeting with labor leaders in 2010, saying he was “losing white males” who tune into the cable outlet and “hear Obama is a Muslim 24/7,” according to journalist David Corn’s new book, “Showdown.” The Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones chronicles the White House from the 2010 midterm elections to the start of the 2012 campaign. The book focuses on key moments of Obama’s presidency, such as Osama bin Laden’s assassination, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Arab Spring, the debt ceiling crisis, and the president’s dealings with Congress.
Corn writes that after the midterm elections, Obama told labor leaders in December 2010 that he held Fox partly responsible for him “losing white males…Fed by Fox News, they hear Obama is a Muslim 24/7, and it begins to seep in…The Republicans have been at this for 40 years. They have new resources, but the strategy is old,” Corn recounted Obama as saying.
How pitiful. After Democrats got spanked at the polls due to their myriad policy failures (see: Obamacare, "stimulus," debt, etc.), Obama whinged to his union lackeys and pinned the blame for his tanking popularity on Fox News and its uninformed, hayseed viewership. I genuinely hope this is just an example of Obama grilling up some mindless red meat for his base; otherwise, this story betrays a dangerous degree of presidential self-delusion. If Obama can persuade himself that his own real failings are attributable the imagined bigotry of others, he is incapable of authentic self-reflection or course correction. (Welcome to the Groundhog Day presidency). Also, not that the substance of his claim merits serious scrutiny, but on what evidence does Obama base his claim that Fox News indulges "he's a Muslim" conspiracies ever, let alone "24/7"? After a cursory search, I identified two examples of suspect reportage in this vein:
(1) In 2007, Fox (along with CNN Headline News) ran with a third party report alleging that Obama had attended a Indonesian madrassa as a child. The story was false. Fox News brass slammed the network's handling of the incident.
(2) Former Fox host E.D. Hill embarrassingly and bizarrely speculated that a playful fist-bump between Barack and Michelle Obama might have been "a terrorist fist jab." Hill apologized on air, and is now with CNN.
I'm sure the Media Matters crowd could cite, chapter and verse, additional instances possibly objectionable coverage -- but the general notion that Fox regularly airs conspiratorial, Islamophobic coverage about this president is a total canard. (If you're interested in other instances of religion-baiting political coverage, see here, here, here and here). I'll leave you with this snappy monologue from columnist George F. Will, who skewered President Obama's blame-shifting proclivities on ABC News last fall:
UPDATE - Since we're on the subject of religion, politics, and blame, here's seven-figure Obama SuperPAC donor and known misogynist Bill Maher comparing Rick Santorum's Christian homeschooling to a madrassa. I'd bet this is also somehow to blame for The One's polling woes.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography