Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let's Hear It for the MSM

We talked about ABC correspondent Jake Tapper's challenge to Robert Gibbs about Fox News the other day, engendering a lively response. Well, apparently the White House decided to up the ante today. They offered "Pay Czar" Ken Feinberg for a press availability to the White House press pool.

Well, most of the press pool, anyway. They planned to exclude Fox News. There's video at the link and it's worth watching.

Here's the good part -- the other news organizations in the pool refused the offer to interview Feinberg if Fox was excluded, so the White House backed down.

Allahpundit's typically spot-on and acerbic analysis asks all the right questions, to wit:

Decide for yourself what the most disgraceful aspect of this is. Was it the fact that Gibbs told Jake Tapper explicitly on Monday that the White House wouldn’t try to dictate to the press pool who should and shouldn’t be included — before doing precisely that? Was it Anita Dunn going out of her way to say she respects Major Garrett as a fair reporter — before the administration decided he didn’t deserve a crack here at Feinberg? Or was it the repeated insistence by Dunn and Axelrod that of course the administration will make its officials available to Fox — before pulling the plug today?

Good questions all, and worthy of discussion. But I would be remiss if I didn't say this -- hats off to NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and the rest. They understood what this move meant and resisted it. The cure for speech you dislike is not to curtail it or to cut off access. The cure is more speech.


Anonymous said...

What's the excuse for this one? I can't wait to hear it. Censorship is ok as long as they censor my opposition? It's not REALLY a news source, so it's ok to not include them. Here's the deal. As a consumer in the free country, I want to decide who produces news and who doesn't. You don't get to decide for me.

Explain this one away! I'm waiting

W.B. Picklesworth said...

It seems to me Obama is trying to control the means of production (of news). From what I've heard so far from liberals they will defend him for it and excuse this behavior because Fox "isn't actually news."

I'm not quite sure what it will take for them to start questioning, but I understand their reticence. I certainly didn't buy into all the criticism that was being leveled at Bush because I didn't trust the sources (NYT, WaPo, CBS, etc...) to tell me the truth. If liberals don't trust Fox News or talk radio, then they just won't get it.

Perhaps they'll get it if they pay attention to principles. Is it good for any president to single out a news organization and try to hurt them? Do I ever want the White House choosing for me who gets to report the news (via access) and who doesn't?

I hold out hope that at some point at least some liberals will come to understand that the bulk of the media is trying to manipulate them and that, in the long run, rebelling against that will actually help their party work for what is important to them.