WHITE HOUSE FIGHTING BACK AT THE PRESS…

Posted on October 19, 2009. Filed under: News And Politics... |

 
Now that the press are starting to report the real news instead of the pro-Obama news, Obama and his minions are striking back.  As childish as the Obama administration has been when dealing with the media, specifically Fox News, the White House blog now issues regular denunciations of the Administration’s critics at lightning speed, I might add.  If only Obama reacted as fast when General McChrystal "called ’em out", we probably would’ve gotten better control over in Afghanistan.  Because of Obama’s procrastination, our military are sitting ducks.  He’d rather fight the truth that Fox News airs each and every day than fight the terrorists who are detrimental to the whole world.  This makes Obama look weak like he’s afraid of a backlash from the terrorists.  As everyone knows, bullies will never choose a target that they feel is stronger than they are.  They’d rather pick on someone who can do them no harm physically.  Again, Obama shows that his priorities are way off, and when it comes to important issues, he’s not the charismatic powerhouse he leads people to believe…
 
QueenBee
 
 
Thursday, Oct. 08, 2009

Calling ‘Em Out: The White House Takes on the Press

By Michael Scherer

There was never a single moment when White House staff decided the major media outlets were falling down on the job. There were instead several such moments.

For press secretary Robert Gibbs, the realization came in early September, when the New York Times ran a front-page story about the bubbling parental outrage over President Obama’s plan to address schoolchildren — even though the benign contents of the speech were not yet public. "You had to be like, ‘Wait a minute,’" says Gibbs. "This thing has become a three-ring circus." (See who’s who in Barack Obama’s White House.)

For deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer, the more hyperbolic attacks on health-care reform this summer, which were often covered as a "controversy," flipped an internal switch. "When you are having a debate about whether or not you want to kill people’s grandmother," he explains, "the normal rules of engagement don’t apply."

And for his boss, Anita Dunn, the aha moment came when the Washington Post ran a second op-ed from a Republican politician decrying the "32" alleged czars appointed by the Obama Administration. Nine of those so-called czars, it turned out, were subject to Senate confirmation, making them decidedly unlike the Russian monarchs. "The idea — that the Washington Post didn’t even question it," Dunn says, still marveling at the decision. (Read Mark Halperin’s grades for the Obama Administration.)

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. (See pictures of Barack Obama’s nation of hope.)

White House officials offer no apologies. "The best analogy is probably baseball," says Gibbs. "The only way to get somebody to stop crowding the plate is to throw a fastball at them. They move."

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." Fox News’s head of news, Michael Clemente, counters that the White House criticism unfairly conflates the network’s reporters and its pundits, like Glenn Beck, whom he likens to "the op-ed page of a newspaper." (See pictures of Barack Obama behind the scenes on Inauguration Day.)

As a mother — who plans to transition to a new job later this year in order to spend more time with her 13-year-old son — Dunn is a rarity in the almost all-boys club that is Obama’s inner circle. But her impact on the White House has been unmistakable. Since her arrival, the communications operation has been tightly refocused, with greater emphasis on planning ahead to shape the news cycle and controlling staff contacts with the press. In daily internal meetings, she points out where to strike back or admit error.

It is not hard to awaken her fiercer instincts. "Here in the White House, you are reluctant to feel like you have to go to that place," she says. "But we have to be more aggressive rather than just sit back and defend ourselves, because they will say anything. They will take any small thing and distort it." In other words, after eight months at the White House, the days of nonpartisan harmony are long gone — it’s Us against Them. And the Obama Administration is playing to win.

 

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