President Barack Obama regularly harangues Fox News. In doing so, he embarrasses himself and ignores what’s behind his underachieving presidency.
Only months into his first term, Obama voiced this complaint: “I’ve got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration.” He didn’t identify Fox News by name back then, but everyone knew which network he was talking about. His staff was quick to carry out the punishment.
Said a White House official: We will treat Fox News “the way we would treat an opponent” because it is so different from other news organizations.
In 2010, the president told Rolling Stone magazine that Fox News promotes a point of view that is “destructive.”
In 2013, he claimed Fox News was chiefly responsible for gridlock and hostility in Congress toward his first-term policies.
Those kinds of strange and unbecoming attacks continue even to the present day.
In an interview this year with Fox News analyst Bill O’Reilly, the president said the network not only covers him unfairly, but he said it covers him unfairly for the sole purpose of making a buck.
“What are you going to do when I’m gone?” the president asked.
Could our Whiner in Chief be any more obtuse?
Allow me to answer that question:
You are not the end-all, be-all, Mr. President. If adoration is what you seek, don’t expect it from Fox News or any other American news organization worth an audience.
If you want to lead this country into consensus, then you’re going to have to work harder, reach farther and — I hope I’m not the first one to tell you this — listen to other people’s points of view.
When is the last time you addressed a group of people who didn’t parrot your own thoughts? Ditch the rah-rah union rallies and obsequious audiences, and have a real dialogue with people who perhaps think you’re hurting more than helping. You might learn something.
You jammed through Obamacare on a partisan vote. You’ve done a sub-par job on the economy by any standard but your own. It’s the weakest recovery in modern history. Your failure to spur hiring hurts the most vulnerable among us — the young, the old and minorities.
On the world stage, you’ve tarnished the American brand and emboldened our enemies.
To get specific, you used Tomahawk missiles effectively to enforce a United Nations no-fly zone in Libya, yet now you will deny successors this weapon by cutting them from the budget.
If someone were trying to “reduce the U.S. ability to shape events” in the world today, says Seth Cropsey, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower, “they couldn’t find a better way than depriving the U.S. fleet of Tomahawks. It’s breathtaking.”
What the hell is that all about, Mr. President?
These are the kinds of things Fox News reports. These are the topics Fox News brings to discussions at dinner tables around the country. I’m glad Fox News does this, because democracy needs all the bold voices it can get — left, right and middle.
It is outrageous for the president of the United States to single out one news organization for “opposition” treatment and then try to marginalize its business viability by saying that it essentially lies in its coverage about the president, foreign policy, the economy and Obamacare.
The only lie I can remember is this whopper, Mr. President: “If you like your plan … if you like your doctor, you can keep them. Period.”
Go wrestle with the guy who said that, Mr. President. Fox News isn’t your problem. You are your problem. The sooner you come to grips with that, the sooner you’ll find yourself worthy of leading a great country.
Consensus takes work. Until you are willing to put in the time, you’re just a politician good at campaigning — a guy who woulda, coulda, shoulda done better.
Sherman Frederick, former publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and member of the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame, writes a column for Stephens Media. Read his blog at www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/sherman-frederick.