The Obama administration has chosen to fight wars on three fronts: Afghanistan, Iraq, and Fox News. Unlike the other two conflicts, the President seems to think he can win this based solely on his goodwill with the American public. But he and his staff may be overestimating their influence with their allies in the media.
In a White House press function yesterday morning, ABC New’s Jake Tapper pressed White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about their offensive against the news agency:
Tapper: Its escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations not a news organization and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why its appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one
Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.
Tapper: But thats a pretty sweeping declaration that they are not a news organization. How are they any different from, say
Gibbs: ABC -
Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?
Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 oclock tonight. Or 5 oclock this afternoon.
Tapper: Im not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. Im talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a news organization — why is that appropriate for the White House to say?
Gibbs: Thats our opinion.
Tapper has become one of the most essential journalists of our day simply by asking obvious questions that other media professionals prefer to ignore. But I suspect he may be the first of many who will view this slight against Fox News as a threat to their profession. The President might do well to declare a ceasefire before he faces an insurgency in the White House Press Office.