Did you hear the one about how President Obama, upon taking office, learned that the economy was in even worse shape than he thought – so in order to save money, he had to fire 17 journalists.
The reason the joke works is that it has (more than) a ring of truth to it. The media has been slobbering all over Mr. Obama ever since he said he wanted to be president. So it came as a great big surprise the other day when the so-called mainstream media went to bat for the president’s least favorite news organization, the anti-Christ itself, FOX News, and in the process took a swipe at the president they love so much.
Here’s how the FOX Web site reported the story about Presidsent Obama’s “pay czar”:
“The Treasury Department on Thursday tried to make “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews to every member of the network pool except Fox News. The pool is the five-network rotation that for decades has shared the costs and duties of daily coverage of the presidency and other Washington institutions
But the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks consulted and decided that none of their reporters would interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included. The pool informed Treasury that Fox News, as a member of the network pool, could not be excluded from such interviews under the rules of the pool.”
For this, ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN (the other members of the pool along with FOX) have been hailed as defenders of a free press, courageous, and even “noble” by my FOX pal, Bill O’Reilly. The conventional wisdom is that the so-called mainstream media had finally had enough, that they would no longer be consciencetious objectors in the White House’s War on FOX News, that now they were standing with FOX because if the Chicago Mafia in the White House could exclude FOX … they could exclude anybody.
To which I say: Maybe.
The more I think about it, the more I believe the Chicago mob is looking more and more like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. But not simply for overplaying their hand against FOX. The mistake Emanuel, Axelrod and company made, I believe, was merely tactical. They offered the “pay czar” interview to the pool – and the pool had no choice but to do what it did. Members of the pool have to stick together. Those are the rules.
But consider this: What if the White House had offered up the “pay czar” to each of the networks individually – and not as members of the pool. What if the Obama administration had asked NBC News if it wanted the inerview, then CBS, then ABC and CNN – seperately. Do we really think any of them would have said, “Are you offering the interview to FOX? If FOX is excluded, we won’t do the interview either.” Two words on that: NO WAY!
In other words, the MSM might not be as courageous and noble as they’re being made out to be. And if the Chicago Mafia is so dopey as to try this stunt again – next time by avoiding the pool – we’ll know for sure if “mainstream” journalists finally turned a corner. If they say, “If you exclude FOX we decline the interview” then I will happily give them three great big cheers. But if they look the other way and do the interview — and allow FOX to be boycotted, isolated and marginalized by the White House — then the accolades for the “mainstream media,” like notices about Mark Twain’s death, will turn out to be premature.
So far I give the MSM one cheer. The jury is out on the other two.