It is now official. The Obama White House has created an "Enemies List" and at the top of that list is the cable news giant, Fox News. I knew it wouldn't take long for Obama to reveal his true colors with regard to the media and negative reporting. Since the campaign of 2008, he has been systematically shutting out the reporters from Fox and welcoming reporters from those from friendly networks like NBC and MSNBC. Last year, he reluctantly agreed to an interview with Bill O'Reilly, but refused to even speak to Sean Hannity. This is not surprising on its face, but given that he personally attacked Hannity several times during the campaign while speaking with other media moguls, I found it rather disheartening that he would not give Sean Hannity the opportunity to question him about those disparaging remarks. Now, the President's advisers have ramped up the game and are openly and unashamedly launching attacks on Fox News. This is not the wisest decision that a President can make.
By allowing himself to be drawn into this verbal war, he has brought the office of the Presidency down to as Senator Lamar Alexander put it "street brawling". This is not what Americans expect from their President and it is wholly inappropriate for Obama to engage in this type of battle. This is Chicago politics emanating from the most powerful office in the world and we deserve better. Of course, since Obama has surrounded himself with fellow Chicagoans, like Axelrod, Dunn and Jarrett, why should we expect anything else but this type of political game? After all, that is the only way they know how to play. Down and dirty...just like the city they call home.
Last year, Sean Hannity declared that true journalism died in 2008 because no one wanted to cover the back stories of Obama and question his fitness for the presidency. I am in total agreement with him. Studies by the Pew Research Center have shown that the only network that truly was "fair and balanced" throughout the campaign was Fox News. Now, a tape of White House Communications Director Anita Dunn has surfaced in which she tells a foreign audience that the Obama campaign manipulated the American media to only share the stories that they wanted to be told.
What is this madness? Is this not a reason for outrage among the American media? The wool is slowly tumbling from the eyes of the American people and they are beginning to see Obama for what he truly is; an inexperienced, completely unprepared, appeasing man that was thrust into the White House as a reflexive vote against the Bush administration, not on his merits. Now is the time for the media to truly engage this administration on every issue that is important to the public. Now is the time for them to actually begin to question the motives of the Obama administration and Congress with regards to several issues. Health care, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the increasing rate of unemployment, the lack of economic stimulation from the "Stimulus Package"; these are just a few of the problems plaguing the American people. When are they going to ask him to offer real solutions, not just sound bites?
If I were a member of the mainstream media and I discovered that I had been manipulated by a Presidential candidate to help get him into the White House, I would be livid. I would be so anxious for my next interview with a member of his administration that I wouldn't be able to sleep at night; I would be too busy planning my strategy for proving that I will no longer be a puppet on a string. This war with Fox is a ridiculous strategy for any President to employ and I believe, as do so many of the political pundits, that it will backfire on him.
The other reason this is inappropriate is that it shows his chief political advisers are wasting time on this issue while failing to deal with more important matters. Obama has had time to declare that Fox News acts like a talk radio network, but has not been able to find the time to reach a decision on the needed troop surge in Afghanistan. General McChrystal's report has been sitting on his desk for 60 days and he has done absolutely nothing of value with it. He has been stalling on this decision for far too long and our men and women fighting in the field are becoming more endangered every day.
I asked in a previous blog when Obama was going to stop campaigning and start acting like a President? I pose this same question again. I did not vote for Obama, but he is my President and I know that I deserve better, and the rest of America deserves better. Obama has likened himself to Lincoln in the past and I believe he can take a lesson in Presidential leadership from our 16th President. When Virginia decided to secede from the Union, Lincoln acted swiftly and boldly to contain the secession in the South. He ordered all Secessionists in Maryland to be locked up and denied them ha beaus corpus in order to prevent Maryland from seceding as well. He knew that if Maryland seceded that Washington DC would fall to the Confederacy in the blink of an eye and he knew that must be prevented at all costs. I have disagreed with this decision because he violated the US Constitution, but his action prevented the fall of the Capital city to the Confederacy and may very well have saved our Republic from imminent disaster.
Perhaps Obama can exhibit some true leadership skills and make a much needed decision to send 40,000 more troops to aid those soldiers already fighting in Afghanistan. This decision is critical to our Republic as well. The longer we delay in winning this war, the stronger the Taliban and by extension, Al Qaeda become. This represents a very "clear and present danger" to the United States. It is time for Obama to focus on the important issues and leave the "street brawling" to the political pundits and bloggers. More is expected, more is required from the President of the United States.