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Brit Hume Scolds the White House, Defends Fox

Reported by Julie - October 13, 2009 -

Like Fox News’ Chris Wallace said, “They are the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington.” I can’t believe he said it, but damn, I sure agree. On Monday (10/12/09), Bret Baier rolled out big gun Brit Hume under the headline “Obama White House Attacking FNC is a Risky Strategy” to defend Fox against the White House attacks. O’Reilly rolled out Hume once again – along with Mary Katharine Ham and Juan Williams (more on that in another post) – to defend Fox . . . Oh, my bad – you mean Wallace wasn’t talking about Fox News? With video.

The Obama Administration’s criticism of Fox News – on the heels of President Obama’s snub of Fox News in his Sunday media rounds in September -- prompted a flurry of flustered talking heads on Fox to react in outrage. In fact, the recent comments by White House Communications Director, Anita Dunn – namely, that Fox News is an “arm of the Republican Party” -- appear to be quite a thorn in Fox’ side. The whiners on Fox apparently couldn’t go it alone: Hume, presumed to be a seasoned, reasoned talking head, was jettisoned into the Fox News studios to heap disapproval on the White House and defend his wayward children.

Hume began by talking about previous Presidents’ being “disgusted with the news media in general,” but decried Presidents who pick fights with those who “buy ink by the barrel.”

Hume opined, “It’s a bad idea to get into a public fight with someone smaller than you are because it diminishes you and elevates your opponent. Fox News may be the biggest news channel by far, but it’s not as big as the Presidency.” Well, at least Hume is honest enough to accurately describe Fox as an “opponent” of the President and the Obama White House.

“The vast protections afforded by the First Amendment make the media largely invulnerable to attacks from politicians,” Hume continued. If the media is so “invulnerable” to “attacks” from the White House, why does Bret Hume need to be trotted out on more than one Fox show to defend it?

Hume continued his analysis, saying, “. . . The kind of salvos recently fired at Fox News by the Obama White House represents . . . a risky strategy. The White House has . . . chosen its words with some care . . . note the characterization of Fox not as conservative but as Republican . . . what’s more . . . if Fox News really were a GOP mouthpiece the White House would not be attacking it. It would feel no need to.” What does that even mean? Maybe what Hume meant to say is that the GOP is so weak and out of power that it’s like using an AK-47 to kill a flea. What he didn’t note is that a flea, while not lethal or dangerous, can be a terrible nuisance and drive you crazy until you squash it. Hmm, yeah, that must be what he meant.

Hume acknowledged, “. . . Other media have been vastly more forgiving and generous in their coverage . . . We’ve been more searching and . . . in some instances more critical . . . .”

Critical in some instances – well, sure, just a few itty-bitty instances of Fox News and its guests and “analysts” and “contributors” supporting and even promoting anti-Obama propaganda – for instance, ACORN and Bill Ayers and the birthers, the Tea Party protests and the Tea Party Express I and, now, II, Glenn Beck’s goofy 9/12 Project, bunkers and death panels and ACORN and abortion field trips and Bill Ayers and palling around with terrorists and ACORN and Bill Ayers and buying a purebred dog instead of a mutt and date night and indoctrination camps and bad Obama for promoting the U.S. by traveling to Copenhagen for the Chicago Olympics and ACORN and Bill Ayers and Michelle Obama baring her arms and he’s not one of us and he’s got too many Czars and he’s an apologist for the U.S. (but he’s bad for accepting the Nobel Peace prize and honoring the U.S. – and let’s not forget, the Chairman of the Nobel Prize Committee may have “socialist ties”) and ACORN has him in its back pocket and he’s a Muslim and a socialist and he took a book from Hugo Chavez. And then there’s Bill Ayers. And ACORN.

Hume concluded, wistfully, “. . . I can’t think of a case, Bret, where we can look back and think of a news outlet that failed or collapsed or really changed its ways because of criticism from politicians in the White House or elsewhere.”

Well, I can’t think of a case where a President failed or collapsed or really changed his ways because of criticism from Fox News, either.

And when Hume said the White House’s “salvos recently fired at Fox News” is a “risky strategy,” he forgot to clarify – risky strategy for whom? In my mind, the risky strategy was Fox News embracing all things anti-Obama – and Fox is now paying the price for backing the wrong horse. Here’s a tip for Fox: When the President of the United States openly snubs a news organization – and doesn’t mind saying why – it’s really, really not a good thing. I’d like for someone on Fox to tell me what the downside is to the Obama Administration returning fire – and what the upside is to the Obama Administration sticking its head in the sand and pretending that Fox is just like any other news organization.

It appears that the Christian Conservative Network likes that whole “turn the other cheek” thing when its opponents are the ones turning the other cheek. You know, considering that Fox has such a love for its fellow man and displays such Christian generosity and tolerance, maybe it should ask itself: What would Jesus do?