The White House's public war against Fox News, launched from the White House blog and briefing room podium, is growing less and less popular with pundits. At first, Fox News had Jacob Weisberg calling for fellow journalists to boycott the network. But now the White House has drawn fire from ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper, liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, liberal Mother Jones writer David Corn and nonpartisan Atlantic analyst Matthew Cooper. How did this happen? Allahpundit, a conservative, sometimes contrarian, and always pseudonymous blogger led the charge in today's reversal of opinion. The White House war against Fox News, he says, is all about controlling what stories are legitimate, and the rest of the media is in on it.
The real reason the White House is attacking Fox News: Containment. This seems so obviously correct that I feel embarrassed for not having figured it out sooner.
The irony of this story, though, is that the press was already happy to quarantine “wingnut” stories emanating from Fox, be it Van Jones or ACORN or the White House trying to politicize the NEA.
The White House must be panicking at the thought that the “legitimate” media will only ignore these stories for so long before the lure of bigger, Foxier ratings finally proves too much. Ideological solidarity only goes so far; as Axelrod himself acknowledged about FNC, ultimately the news nets are in business to make money. So here he and Emanuel are, leaning on them not only to ignore Fox but to ignore stories that Fox covers, as if the underlying facts are somehow tainted by association (“Let’s make sure that we keep perspective on what are the most important stories”). Creepy.
Allahpundit has made this argument for weeks--long before the White House made its anti-Fox mission clear, and certainly before liberals ran to the network's defense. The blogger noted his earlier coverage of White House aggression towards Fox News during the conservative campaign against White House "green czar" Van Jones.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.