October 19, 2009

MARY KATHARINE HAM: Losing: Helen Thomas, NYT, and The Nation Object to White House Fight With Fox News. “When you’ve got Helen Thomas, the NYT, and The Nation lining up against you, it’s time to admit defeat, boys. But alas, Axelrod and Emanuel can’t help themselves.”

UPDATE: A reader emails:

The trouble is that Obama’s (and his staff’s) actions here aren’t part of some arcane political strategy to make themselves look good. Instead, it’s all about controlling the message, which they did during the campaign and are still trying to do now.

The only real difference is that during the primaries, the right and Fox really didn’t pay very close attention to candidate Obama and his control of the media’s reporting of his message. And the Obama campaign really didn’t have to care what Fox and the right might be saying about them, since who on the left was listening to those sources? It was all about them winning the primaries.

So Obama and his merry band and Fox were on two different wavelengths.

However, once Obama got the demo nod, then suddenly it did matter how Fox reported on candidate Obama. And, unfortunately for the man who’s all about control, Fox is proving to be the one thing he can’t control…

Obama doesn’t care if picking a fight with Fox makes him look weak… I think he’s incapable of seeing that truth, frankly. And, I hope he continues to be so headstrong and oblivious to the damage he’s doing to himself. But allow me to reiterate: this isn’t about perception; it’s about controlling any and all communication. Once you shut down any voices of dissent, you can go about your business, unconcerned that anyone will thwart your intentions. They don’t care how this makes them look; they’re playing this game for keeps, not to win the “good sport” award…

It’s the Chicago Way.

ANOTHER UPDATE: But reader Chris Martin thinks it’s not about control, but competence:

Obama’s lack of control of the Congress, sitting on the sidelines while they worked up the Stimulus bill, and the health care legislation, proves to me he isn’t about control No, this is about two things: conceit and competence. Obama is shocked that Fox won’t take a knee like the other media has done up to now, and hiring a buffoon like Anita Dunn confirms again that whomever his hiring these people around him is incompetent. Biden, Geitner, Van Jones, Cass Sunstein, the NEA idiot, Bunny what’s-her-name, the safe schools czar, and Dunn..(the Dunn hiring looks a lot of like her husband pulling strings) it’s definitely not about competence.

This is the chickens coming home to roost….

Well, we’ll see.

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