After getting shellacked in the midterm elections and seeing his approval ratings plunge to the low 40s, Barack Obama must have spent some time taking stock of the situation … right? Mulled over the wisdom of spending $840 billion on a stimulus bill that didn’t stimulate, and tying Congress up for most of two years to pass a health-care system overhaul so unpopular that it rapidly expanded the grassroots opposition sparked by the bailouts and the stimulus? Naaaaah:
President Barack Obama blamed Fox News for his political woes in a private meeting with labor leaders in 2010, saying he was “losing white males” who tune into the cable outlet and “hear Obama is a Muslim 24/7,” according to journalist David Corn’s new book, “Showdown.”
In “Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner, Cantor, and the Tea Party” — which hits bookstores on Tuesday — the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones chronicles the White House from the 2010 midterm elections to the start of the 2012 campaign. The book focuses on key moments of Obama’s presidency, such as Osama bin Laden’s assassination, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Arab Spring, the debt ceiling crisis, and the president’s dealings with Congress.
Corn writes that after the midterm elections, Obama told labor leaders in December 2010 that he held Fox partly responsible for him “losing white males.”
“…Fed by Fox News, they hear Obama is a Muslim 24/7, and it begins to seep in…The Republicans have been at this for 40 years. They have new resources, but the strategy is old,” Corn recounted Obama as saying.
All that proves is that Obama never watches Fox News, which to my knowledge hasn’t ever suggested that Obama is a Muslim at all. That’s nothing more than being a crybaby about a political disaster that was entirely predictable by the summer Congressional recess of August 2009, when Democrats had to stop talking with their constituents in order to pretend that they had support for ObamaCare. Obama apparently can’t face up to the consequences of his own poor decisions.
My good friend and Townhall colleague Guy Benson did some investigating, and finds no example of the Fox-Muslim nexus in his Lexis-Nexis:
Also, not that the substance of his claim merits serious scrutiny, but on what evidence does Obama base his claim that Fox News indulges “he’s a Muslim” conspiracies ever, let alone “24/7”? After a cursory search, I identified two examples of suspect reportage in this vein:
(1) In 2007, Fox (along with CNN Headline News) ran with a third party report alleging that Obama had attended a Indonesian madrassa as a child. The story was false. Fox News brass slammed the network’s handling of the incident.
(2) Former Fox host E.D. Hill embarrassingly and bizarrely speculated that a playful fist-bump between Barack and Michelle Obama might have been “a terrorist fist jab.” Hill apologized on air, and is now with CNN.
I’m sure the Media Matters crowd could cite, chapter and verse, additional instances possibly objectionable coverage — but the general notion that Fox regularly airs conspiratorial, Islamophobic coverage about this president is a total canard. (If you’re interested in other instances of religion-baiting political coverage, see here, here, here and here).
Guy also links to a clip of George Will calling Obama “Alibi Ike,” and recounts just how often the buck doesn’t stop at the Oval Office in the Obama presidency:
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!