Obama's White House, 2009: 'Don't Pretend' Fox News Is a 'Legitimate News Organization'
Donald Trump refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta today, labeling Acosta's employer as "fake news." Since then, mainstream media and celebrities are hyperventilating over Trump as if he bears the same viciously totalitarian impulses as, say, Fidel Castro -- and that Trump is SCARY and GOING TO GET THEM.
As comforting as tweeting one's victimhood status to millions appears to be to today's left -- and as ironic as exercising one's free speech to millions via Twitter to claim the death of the First Amendment is to everyone else -- this reactionary response sure doesn't look good for the left in terms of ideological consistency.
Or sanity. For example, here's one-percenter Patton Oswalt, who I'll assume is tweeting from an in-home hyperbaric chamber:
Oswalt presumably wasn't so frightened back in 2009, the first year of President Barack Obama's administration. Yet back then, Obama's Communications Director Anita Dunn gave an interview to the New York Times during which she proclaimed Obama's administration had adopted as policy that Fox News was fake news.
Ironically, current CNN host and Trump critic Brian Stelter wrote the article.
Attacking the news media is a time-honored White House tactic but to an unusual degree, the Obama administration has narrowed its sights to one specific organization, the Fox News Channel, calling it, in essence, part of the political opposition.
“We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” said Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, in a telephone interview on Sunday. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”
In 2009, the White House's position on Fox News was that it was "an opponent," at "war(!)" with the White House. And that they were not, in fact, a legitimate news organization.
They were to be treated as fake news. It was White House policy.
Here's Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post:
John Harwood of NBC:
CNN really wanted to slip "First Amendment" into the discussion -- first with their official response, and then with this tweet from CNN's social media head:
Here's a Slate.com writer:
And here's the ever-present George Takei:
Now, here's a more insightful take: since Obama's done it since it his first year in office; since Obama went two entire terms without taking more than a handful of questions from any center-right outlet, never mind singling out just one; and since not being one of the lucky dozen or so people out of 300 million Americans who gets to ask the president-elect a question does not infer that your rights have been violated, this tweeter brings some sanity whether you're a Trump supporter or not: