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Dear FOX News: America Likes Barack Obama. Get Over It!

Reported by Ellen - December 31, 2008 -

Hannity & Colmes took time out from its nearly all-Blagojevich evening last night (12/30/08) to whine about fawning press coverage of Barack Obama. “Media Goes Crazy Over Obama Vacation Pictures,” said one sneering banner. After reading from a gushing passage in the Washington Post, Alan Colmes said in his scripted introduction to the discussion, “If this is how excited the press gets over the future president's fitness, will they be objectively able to report his policies?” The guest for the segment was FOX News contributor Bernard Goldberg, thereby ensuring a “No!” answer from their sole expert. But, as Colmes pointed out in the segment, gushing over Obama's physique is a far cry from gushing over his policies. And not even Goldberg offered any proof that one would lead to the other. His only “evidence” was that George Bush has been ridiculed for his devotion to exercise. With video.

I'll admit that the prose quoted in the discussion was over the top. But it's more than a little ironic, of course, for FOX News to be whining about media not being tough enough on a politician. This is the same network that accused the New York Times of treason for exposing the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping. It's also the network that couldn't seem to think of any tough questions for Sarah Palin in any of her many campaign interviews on FOX. And speaking of Sarah Palin, I have yet to see a mention of the drug bust of the future mother-in-law of Bristol Palin, not even during a previous night's mention of Bristol's birth.

“They love this guy!” Goldberg said, with disgust. He was talking about the press but he might just as well have been talking about Americans in general. Polls show that the country very much approves of Obama and, despite FOX News' best efforts, that approval is growing. And what's wrong with a country, especially a country that's in the midst of serious economic problems and two wars, admiring its popular president-elect? Nothing that I can think of, unless you're rooting for the other party.

Goldberg continued, “If they continue this love affair into his presidency, all of us, whether you're a liberal Democrat out there or a conservative Republican, we're all in a lot of trouble, if they don't start to shape up.” To Goldberg, “shape up” obviously meant “be more critical.”

Apparently, the fact that FOX News, still the cable news network with the highest ratings, devotes nearly its entire programming to attacking Barack Obama doesn't count in their own or Goldberg's media-coverage equation. Goldberg didn't seem to mind that the show had preempted all its Middle East coverage in favor of Rod Blagojevich and this segment (plus a promo for the network's New Year's Eve special). Is Blagojevich really more important than a war involving Israel (you know, the country for whose sake we're supposed to bomb Iran)? Evidently so. When you consider the scanty coverage given to the Jack Abramoff scandals, Tom DeLay's legal troubles, the outing of Valerie Plame, the trial of Scooter Libby and the firings of the U.S. Attorneys, one can only conclude that FOX News would never have the same fascination with Blagojevich if he were a Republican.

I don't know about you but I find a national news network that virtually ignores one Party's scandals while harping incessantly on another's a lot more troubling than some fawning vacation coverage of America's current hero.