Fun stuff, especially coming hot on the heels of Axelrod’s fine whine to Roger Ailes. Incredible though it may seem, we may be nearing the point where the White House starts blaming Obama’s political failures on … a biased media.
All the criticism, both fair and misleading, took a toll, regularly knocking the White House off message. So a new White House strategy has emerged: rather than just giving reporters ammunition to “fact-check” Obama’s many critics, the White House decided it would become a player, issuing biting attacks on those pundits, politicians and outlets that make what the White House believes to be misleading or simply false claims, like the assertion that health-care reform would establish new “sex clinics” in schools. Obama, fresh from his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, cheered on the effort, telling his aides he wanted to “call ’em out.”
The take-no-prisoners turn has come as a surprise to some in the press, considering the largely favorable coverage that candidate Obama received last fall and given the President’s vows to lower the rhetorical temperature in Washington and not pay attention to cable hyperbole. Instead, the White House blog now issues regular denunciations of the Administration’s critics, including a recent post that announced “Fox lies” and suggested that the cable network was unpatriotic for criticizing Obama’s 2016 Olympics effort…
The general in this war is Dunn, 51, a veteran campaign strategist who arrived at the White House in May. She has been a force in Democratic campaigns since the late 1980s and helmed Obama’s rapid-response operation during his run. At the White House, she has become a devoted consumer of conservative-media reports and a fierce critic of Fox News, leading the Administration’s effort to block officials, including Obama, from appearing on the network. “It’s opinion journalism masquerading as news,” Dunn says. “They are boosting their audience. But that doesn’t mean we are going to sit back.”
This comes on the very day that the new Quinnipiac bombshell finding voters still oppose ObamaCare, 40/47, was headlined this way by the AP: “Voters Back Obama Over Republicans on Health Care, Poll Finds.” I linked this a few months ago when it first came out, but given all the whining from the White House lately about the media, it pays to re-read Vanity Fair’s piece from July about just how excruciatingly cozy the relationship between them is. Why Axelrod and Emanuel feel the need to take shots at Glenn Beck via the White House blog when they’ve got major newspapers eager to play stenographer for them is beyond me. Exit quotation: “They have been handed a most remarkable historical moment—in which they get to remake the media in their own image. They have the power and they are the subject. These people in this White House are in greater control of the media than any administration before them.”