"White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Tuesday pointed to two top-rated opinion shows on Fox News as the reason why the Obama administration has castigated the network as an illegitimate news organization.
Gibbs weighed in on the controversy after several top White House advisers have gone on other channels to criticize Fox News' coverage of the administration, dismiss the network as the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and urge other news organizations not to treat Fox News as a legitimate news station.
Gibbs said White House officials "render (that) opinion based on some their coverage and the fairness of that coverage."
But asked how Fox News was different from other news organizations, Gibbs mentioned the channel's 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows, in an explicit reference to "Beck" and "Hannity" -- even though those two shows represent opinion programming.
Informed that those hours are for opinion programming, Gibbs said: "That is our opinion."
The White House also appeared to stand by its effort to urge other networks to isolate and alienate the channel. Gibbs said Tuesday that it's up to the White House Correspondents Association to decide whether Fox News should continue to be part of the White House pool which covers President Obama.
"I'm not going to delineate for the White House Correspondents Association how the pool is conducted. That's not my job," he said.
The pool, the rotation through which the networks share the costs and duties of White House coverage, represents the most significant interaction among the news channels. Despite the Obama administration's guidance to other channels to disregard Fox News, there are no indications so far from the other networks that the pool relationship will change.
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod on Sunday called on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox News is "not a news organization."
"Other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way," Axelrod counseled ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "We're not going to treat them that way."
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN on Sunday that Obama does not want "the CNNs and the others in the world (to) basically be led in following Fox."
I want to warn Americans that when governments go after news outlets, you're already way down a slippery slope towards a totalitarian state. Have we forgotten how during eight Bush years, basically all mainstream media, Fox excluded, mercilessly pounded President Bush and his administration? Have we forgotten how he was ridiculed, deliberately misinterpreted, made a laughing stock when the slightest occasion presented itself? Have we forgotten how MSNBC, CNN, PBS, the LA Times, the New York Times and a gazillion of other news outlets constantly focused on alleged screwups and squarely omitted things that put the Bush Administration in a good daylight?
Then I ask you: have we ever heard something, anything, about that same Bush Administration going after the media? Threatening it? The answer is NO. To the contrary, the meekness with which Bush's White House let itself often be slaughtered, even when it had plenty of arguments to defend itself, has often baffled me.
Yet now we DO watch such a scenario. It is plain for everyone to see. I just wonder... have we lost our capacity to become enraged upon reading:
Hello??? Do I read that right??? The White House spokesman "URGES NEWS ORGANIZATIONS NOT TO TREAT FOX NEWS AS A LEGITIMATE NEWS STATION"?????? What's next? The National Guard being ordered to bust inside FNC HQ in New York City's Sixth Avenue?
This is it for me. I have long refrained from using that Obama/Socialism poster you see now on the upper right, since I still consider myself a guestwriter on this blog, and since he is not my president (thank God). And when the founders of this blog ask me to remove it, I will do so. Hell, they can do it themselves if they like. But as far as I'm concerned, viewing that joker image each time helps to remind you the current White House occupant is a very, very dangerous guy. And this is not about Gibbs or Dunn overplaying their hand. These are not isolated remarks. When you have a president who happens to have a frightening phalanx of ultraradicals as his 'czars', they aren't all ultraradicals because of a coincidence. They are on their posts BECAUSE they are ultraradicals. They are Obama's czars BECAUSE they hold extremely radical views. They are Obama's czars BECAUSE he himself holds the same extremely radical views. Likewise, when a White House spokesman or a White House Communications Director issues threats THAT ARE NOT EVEN VEILED ANYMORE...
... you can be damn sure that the man behind the desk in the Oval Office...
... completely approves of treatening an independent news organization.
We have seen that before.
In EVERY totalitarian state.
Americans should be very cautious of their current government. Extremely cautious. Not one year has elapsed yet since Baraka Hussein Mohbama took office. But at the current rate of events, I am really dreading what America will look like after four years.