Yesterday, in the course of discussing the Rupert Murdoch News of the World phone hacking scandal, I relayed a personal anecdote about a former Obama liaison taking a shot at Fox News even though he did not watch its programming.
Not surprisingly, these attitudes aren’t so unusual amongst people who work for President Obama. Yesterday, Judicial Watch released a series of e-mails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act regarding the sentiments of the Obama White House towards Fox News. These e-mails were written in October 2009 around the time when Fox News was denied access to White House Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg. In one e-mail, Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, writing with great earnest, stated, “We’ve demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude Fox News from significant interviews.”
In another e-mail, Fox News anchor Brett Baier is described as a “lunatic” by Jennifer Psaki, the White House Deputy Communications Director, for having the temerity to comment on the exclusion of Fox News from the White House press pool. Clearly, Obama staffers cannot bear Fox News. Or should I say Baier?
But from whom do White House staffers take their cue with regard to Fox News? Why none other than President Obama himself. Let us recall that in an interview with Rolling Stone last September, Obama stated that Fox News has “a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world.” Simply put, Obama believes Fox News is destructive for America. Obama believes that any entity which presents a point of view which differs from his own as a destructive force. So much for tolerating other points of view. In this respect, Obama and his staffers aren’t very liberal-minded. Now if President Obama is willing to say this about Fox News publicly then one can only imagine what the President and his staffers say about Fox News behind closed doors and out of cyberspace.
For its part, Fox News takes the position that this is water under the bridge. According to Michael Clemente, Senior Vice-President of News for FNC, “On and off-the-air relations with this administration have come a long way since then.” Well, perhaps. The Obama White House might very well be more cordial in their dealings with Fox News personnel at the present time. But don’t think for a minute that the moment they leave the room that the Obama White House has anything but utter contempt for Fox News. Hating Fox News is a practically a prerequisite to be a liberal in good standing. So as long as liberals have a Pavlovian response to Fox News then sooner or later President Obama or someone from his administration is going to reload and fire yet another opening shot at their least favored media outlet.