Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Obama and Alinsky and Fox News

By Donald Sensing

Glenn Reynolds links to Kirsten Power's essay on the White House strategy to delegitimize FoxNews Channel.

This is not news, just another volley fired by Obama toward a practitioner of First Amendment rights. Let us mention a few of the previous volleys:

1. The opening bombardment was in October 2009. I wrote then that the attack on FNC then was right out of Saul Alinsky's playbook. (Most of this post was reprinted by the WSJ on its OpinionJournal site.)

The attack is directly out of the Saul Alinsky playbook, who in his work, Rules for Radicals, wrote that one of the rules of "power tactics" is to, 
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'...

"...any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When your 'freeze the target,' you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments.... Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the 'others' come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target...'

"One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other." (pps.127-134)
2. Then in April 2010 I observed, "Alinsky-taming of the media nearly complete."
As they say, "I hate to say I told you so -- but I told you so." Consider:
What I have learned after discussions over the last several days with several journalists who either have regular access to the White House or are part of the White House press corps is that there is a growing sense that access is traded for positive stories -- or perhaps worse, an agreement that things learned will not be reported in the near term.

The White House is working hard to secure deals that yield fluffy, feel good commentary about the Obama White House. One American White House reporter used colorful terms to describe the arrangement. The reporter said, "They want [crudity snipped] first [in the press sense]. Then you have to be on good behavior for a bit or be willing to deal, and then you get access."
And why are reporters so willing - nay, eager - to genuflect before the almighty god of Access? Well, dead reader, 'tis simple to answer, and Wonkette does: "Washington Press Corps Just One Big Book-Publishing Scam."
3. In August 2010 the Alinsky-ing of the media continued. And it May 2011 it was still going on.

And so Kirsten Powers accurately observes,
There is no war on terror for the Obama White House, but there is one on Fox News. 
In a recent interview with The New Republic, President Obama was back to his grousing about the one television news outlet in America that won’t fall in line and treat him as emperor. Discussing breaking Washington's partisan gridlock, the president told TNR,"If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News...for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it."

Second verse, same as the first. Our Whiner in Chief cannot change his tune.

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