By Robert Wallace
The White House war on Limbaugh was a bad idea. His ratings went up, and they looked unprofessional and petty for picking a fight with talk radio host. So, given the liberal infatuation with failed policies, they naturally decided to give it another go.
The assault on Fox News has been generally panned by observers from every side of the political spectrum as everything from a politlcal blunder to a an example of skewed priorities to an un-American attack on the freedom of the press. So far the entire debacle seems to do Obama more harm than good. First the expendable pointwoman (Anita Dunn) turned out to be Mao’s number 1 fan. Despite this Axelrod and Emanuel (rumored to be the mastermind of this plot) kept up the attack. ABC’s Jake Tapper raised the issue with Gibbs, who singled out Beck and O’Reilly as representative of Fox News. That’s not remotely honest, given that the White House claims to be attacking the news coverage as opposed to the opinion shows. Most interestingly: I’ve noticed that dismissive comparisons of Obama with Carter have started to be replaced by much more potent comparisons of Obama with Nixon.
So I keep expecting the White House Administration to go find something else to complain about. But they keep digging the hole deeper. Here’s Obama on MSNBC implying that Fox News is the equivalent of talk radio:
It reminds me of the Geico commercials with the little pile of money that has eyeballs on it. Instead of “this is the money you could save by switching Geico” I hear in my mind “this is the credibility you could save by talking about real issues.”
The only explanations I can think of are that the Obama administration believes the short-term benefit of energizing their base is worth the long-term pain of alienating the rest of the country. Which in turn makes me wonder whether or not Team Obama even has a long-term strategy for his presidency anymore.