The volley was swift and merciless. In a coordinated assault, White House Communications Director Anita Dunn told CNN that, “Fox is widely viewed as a part of the Republican Party: take their talking points and put them on the air, take their opposition research and put it on the air. And that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news organization like CNN is.”
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel followed with his own volley: “It's not a news organization so much as it has a perspective. More importantly, is not to have the CNNs and others in the world basically be led and following Fox, as if that, what they're trying to do is a legitimate news organization.”
When asked to elaborate on his colleague’s statements, White House senior adviser David Axelrod responded, “I understand that their programming is geared toward making money. All - the only argument Anita was making is that they're not really a news station, if you watch - even - it's not just their commentators, but a lot of their news programming, it's really not news. It's pushing a point of view.”
But rather than launch the Fox Wars, President Obama has fallen into an ongoing media war.
Most, if not all, news organizations are guilty to varying degrees of the charges levied against Fox. Money and ratings, the lifeblood, are generated by opinion as much as fact. Mainstream media as a whole distorts and suppresses “the truth.” Blaming one news network over another is dangerous because many tracks lead to the same abyss.
That the White House uses CNN to disseminate its message against Fox and praises CNN in the process is an example of a good dog. CNN and Fox are both sensational and politically motivated, relegating foreign policy to the basement. Wolf Blitzer is as repetitious as Sean Hannity, though Blitzer feeds on the minute.
MSNBC is no different. Rachel Maddow and Keith Oberman were sucked into the war after a revealed meeting with President Obama. Maddow and Oberman's comparisons to Sean Hannity and Bill O’ Reilly are well deserved. These people equally relish provoking a media war, spreading propaganda, playing the game, limiting the time for serious discussion. They are clones.
All news organizations have their bias, subtle or overt. The BBC portrays a stealthy anti-Western tone because Europe wants to hear it. Al Jazeera reports what Muslims want to know. The Indian Times is anti-Pakistani. In a country as populous and diverse as America, a media war between ideologies is inevitable, local to national.
President Obama was foolish to enter for that reason; either he’s allowing his circle to speak for him or he’s lost control. Of course Fox opposes the government. That’s its game, one the White House played right into Murdoch’s hands. Was there any doubt Fox’s ratings would rise?
"We may be No. 1, but there is sort of an insurgent quality to Fox News," said senior political analyst Brit Hume. "And that's kind of our attitude: 'Hoist a Jolly Roger, pull out our daggers and look for more throats to slit.' This is tremendous fodder for us. My lord, we've been living on it."
Obama could be in serious trouble if Hume’s attitude has permeated deep into Fox, a high possibility, but Obama isn’t Octopus Mountain’s concern. Ultimately he will rise or fall on Afghanistan and health care. His staff is another matter, creating chaos in the media early in the administration. The present phase of war is just beginning.
This war isn’t aimed at the government though, but the American people. The media attempts to block the world out while appearing to let it in. The media is a manifestation of The Cave.
Fox has its own way of suppressing foreign policy - by attacking President Obama. By attacking him personally, by ad homonyms, through repetition. MSNBC passes itself off as a Washington insider, but its information suffers from an equal lack of depth as Fox. MSNBC is Obama’s guard, Fox the assailant. Each plays its part, and for this reason they make sense.
CNN is the worst of all news organizations. CNN doesn’t do foreign policy, it whitewashes. When it does foreign policy, the conversation is either a nonversation or exposed as the fraud that it is. Pair Michael Ware or Rory Stewart with David Gergan, Emanuel pals James Carville and Paul Begala, William Bennett, John King, Gloria Borger, Anderson Cooper especially.
We’ve seen it, and it doesn’t look pretty.
Fox and President Obama will receive all the attention, but their battle is inconsequential to the one being waged by the media against the people. Foreign policy is being snuffed out by sensationalism and entertainment, by distractions, deception, and distortions. By weak foreign policy that toes the government line - and secures access into the White House.
Octopus Mountain was designed to fill a void and we’re growing more resolved by the day. We believe the American people aren't as stupid as we're taken for. The old media is dying. A new media is in creation, and possibly a new war.