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UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Obama administration needs to quit worrying about Fox NewsPosted Wednesday, October 28, 2009, at 1:58 PM
What's with this petty war of words pitting the White House against Fox News Network?
Does the White House and President Obama have reason to be upset with the way they've been treated or covered on the Fox News airways?
Probably, yes in some cases, but the Obama administration needs to understand being president puts you directly on the hot seat.
He needs to check with some of the former presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton or either one of the George Bushes.
I think they took plenty of heat and criticism from the news media day in and day out.
Was it President Harry Truman who said, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen?"
Well, Mr. President, there is heat in the kitchen and you might be wise to look up a couple other quotes from former President Truman.
Such as: "It sure is hell to be president"; "A President cannot always be popular"; and my favorite, "You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog."
Click on the following link to learn more about the battle between Fox News and the White House:
Trying to single out or demonize one news channel or organization looks immature, petty and most of all non-presidential.
Obama is the president of everyone -- even those who didn't vote for him or still don't support him, or don't even like him or his policies.
I find all of this particularly disheartening as a journalist, who happens to believe the United States is a nation solidly built around the principles of free speech, limited government, and free enterprise.
Am I the only one who believes it is highly unusual for the Obama executive branch administration to launch a vendetta against an individual news station just because they don't like the way they report the news?
I have to agree with a recent statement by David Zurawik, a television critic in the Baltimore Sun, who recently wrote: "Whether or not you like Fox News, all of us in the press need to be concerned about the administration of President Barack Obama trying to 'punish' the cable news channel for its point of view."
I happen to believe the actions of the White House administration threaten the very principles of free of press as framed by our forefathers.
The Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc. defines freedom of the press as "the right to publish and disseminate information, thoughts, and opinions without restraint or censorship as guaranteed under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Amendment 1 of the Bill of Right of the Constitution ratified Dec. 15, 1791 reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It's pretty clear to me that right is guaranteed to all -- from the highest office in the land to the highest rated entertainment channel on cable television.
As a journalist and an employee of a news organization, I find the White House's recent actions against Fox News-- declaring them a non-news organization -- as completely foolish, a dumb political strategy and a slap in the face to the American people.
There have been a handful of times in my newspaper career when I engaged in a war of words with a government official or an elected official. Most generally, it didn't turn out so well for either one of us -- the source or the media.
There is a proper way for addressing the news organization if the White House truly believes they are being wronged by Fox News.
Why not pick up the phone and present a case for more unbiased or fair reporting by the Fox crew?
We get those kind of calls occasionally here in our small little Greene County newspaper office and more often than not, the problem is generally smoothed over pretty quickly.
Ignoring the problem or black-balling is hardly the answer.
Interestingly, Fox News is the ratings winner in all of this and our good president looks very weak, even if he's not losing any sleep over the battle.
Fox News through this petty fight has also garnered the attention of all the other major and cable networks and major newspapers.
Even this newspaper has decided this feud is worthy of a few words of comment.
I don't think anyone is forcing anyone to watch Fox News. If the White House doesn't like the way things are reported, suck it up and either watch CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSBC or any of the other major networks or shut up.
If not, Fox's Chris Wallace might just be right when he says, "This White House is a bunch of whiners."
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