White House Tactics Go Too Far – by Charles Krauthammer – RealClearPolitics
October 23, 2009
White House Tactics Go Too Far
By Charles Krauthammer
WASHINGTON — Rahm Emanuel once sent a dead fish to a live pollster. Now he’s put a horse’s head in Roger Ailes’ bed.
Not very subtle. And not very smart. Ailes doesn’t scare easily.
The White House has declared war on Fox News. White House communications director Anita Dunn said that Fox is “opinion journalism masquerading as news.” Patting rival networks on the head for their authenticity (read: docility), senior adviser David Axelrod declared Fox “not really a news station.” And Chief of Staff Emanuel told (warned?) the other networks not to “be led (by) and following Fox.”
Meaning? If Fox runs a story critical of the administration — from exposing White House czar Van Jones as a loony 9/11 “truther” to exhaustively examining the mathematical chicanery and hidden loopholes in proposed health care legislation — the other news organizations should think twice before following the lead.
The signal to corporations is equally clear: You might have dealings with a federal behemoth that not only disburses more than $3 trillion every year but is extending its reach ever deeper into private industry — finance, autos, soon health care and energy. Think twice before you run an ad on Fox.