Ed Driscoll

It’s the Media Intimidation, Stupid

At Commentary, Peter Wehner writes:

We know all about the political orientation of most reporters — but surely this is a case when political preferences should give way to professional responsibilities and priorities. Fox News may be the immediate target under attack, but so is journalism itself. Jake Tapper seems to understand that. The question is: Does anyone else in the press corps?

Read the whole thing. Meanwhile, Lamar Alexander is advising Team Obama not to reverse course from the direction his former boss took:

In 1969 and during the first half of 1970, I was a wet-behind-the-ears, 29-year-old staff aide in the West Wing of the Nixon White House. I was working for the wisest man in that White House, Bryce Harlow, who was a friend of President Johnson, as well as the favorite staff member of President Eisenhower, and President Nixon’s first appointee.

Based upon that experience and my forty years since then in and out of public life, I want to make what I hope will be taken as a friendly suggestion to President Obama and his White House: don’t create an enemies list.

As I was leaving the White House in 1970, Mr. Harlow was heading out on the campaign plane with Vice President Spiro Agnew whose job was to vilify Democrats and to help elect Republicans. The Vice President had the help of talented young speechwriters, the late Bill Safire and Pat Buchanan. In Memphis, he called Albert Gore, Sr., the “southern regional chairman of the eastern liberal establishment.” He labeled the increasingly critical news media, “nattering nabobs of negativism.”

In 1969 and during the first half of 1970, I was a wet-behind-the-ears, 29-year-old staff aide in the West Wing of the Nixon White House. I was working for the wisest man in that White House, Bryce Harlow, who was a friend of President Johnson, as well as the favorite staff member of President Eisenhower, and President Nixon’s first appointee.

Those phrases have become part of our political lore. They began playfully enough, in the back and forth of political election combat. After I had come home to Tennessee, they escalated into something more. They eventually emerged into the Nixon enemies list.

Like Jack Torrance in The Shining’s Overlook Hotel, the ghost of Spiro Agnew roams the halls of the White House once again.