The Obama administration used the White House website blog to focus on the “disregard for the facts” demonstrated by Fox News and singled out a sequence on Barack Obama’s Olympic overtures on Glenn Beck’s program.
The White House did not pull its punches. The blog said, “Last night Fox News continued its disregard for the facts in an attempt to smear the Administration’s efforts to win the Olympics for the United States. In the past, hosting the Olympics has been a source of pride and unity for the country, but once again Fox News’ Glenn Beck program has shown that nothing is worthy of respect if it can be used as part of a partisan attack to boost ratings.”
The post then listed the “rhetoric” from the Beck program followed by a correction. The first one noted Beck’s claim that Vancouver lost $1B hosting the Winter Olympics when in reality those games haven’t even started yet and won’t until February of next year.
The White House also took issue with two comments made about advisor Valerie Jarrett and another about the state of the Chicago government.
Beck seemed almost pleased to be a White House target. He said, “This is the White House. Now remember, I have made some claims that people have said are outrageous, are crazy, conspiratorial. You name it, they have said it about me. So now the White House has decided enough is enough and they are going to take me on face to face. They are going right at me. Guns ablazing, everything they have.”
He explained the first objection by admitting he misspoke and had intended to say that Calgary lost money hosting the Olympics, a claim he stands by. The other errors the White House pointed out were not addressed, at least on the transcript Beck had posted on his own website.
RBR-TVBR observation: This administration is willing to openly mix it up with its media critics to an extent we’ve never before seen. Barack Obama has been openly disdainful of Fox even before he was elected and pointedly snubbed the network just recently. It’s gone after Rush Limbaugh, and now it’s going after Beck.
We famously have learned about the deep mistrust of the media that characterized Richard Nixon, but we learned about it after the fact. He largely waged his warfare behind the scenes, not right out in the open as does the Obama administration.
Of course, Beck should be pleased, because as Rush Limbaugh knows, you simply cannot buy the kind of publicity Obama is sending his way, completely free of charge.
It may, however, be a matter of concern for the professional politicians in the Republican Party, because they are once again faced with an administration that is all too happy to define who the top spokespeople are for his opposition. Limbaugh and Beck may have an exceptionally deep rapor with their base audience which serves them well in their media roles, but that audience is but a slim sliver of the general electorate.