Fox News' outrage at President Obama’s critical remarks about their network is becoming hysterical. It’s not a simple matter of their being pissed at his criticism. No, the President is trying to shut them down. He’s going after the First Amendment just as he went after the Second. And he’s sending the country down the tubes because without a free Fox there is no free America. So, at least, said “legal analyst” Peter Johnson Jr., appearing on Fox and Friends for the second morning in a row.
We have previously noted that Johnson is also Roger Ailes’ personal attorney, and speculated that he might be acting as a stand-in for Fox's chief. Since Johnson also appeared on Hannity last night, and maybe on other shows as well, I speculate that he's speaking for Ailes in this case, and that the F&F segment was part of a Carefully Orchestrated Outrage Strategy.
Brian Kilmeade fed Johnson the appropriately sensational opening lines: "After going after the Second Amendment, President Obama, unhappy with freedom of speech, is going after the First Amendment.” Indeed he is, agreed Johnson, as the chyron shouted FIRST GUNS, NOW FREE SPEECH. “The imperial Presidency playbook is open." The First Amendment is "seriously in doubt,” he added, when the President embraces those that echo his talking points, and brands anyone who seeks to “foster debate” as an “enemy of the state.” GOING AFTER FREE SPEECH, the chyron hollered.
Of course he would, said Kilmeade, right on cue. Obama’s got all the Democrats and all the mainstream media and even a few scared Republicans in his camp – “everyone but Fox and Rush apparently.” BIAS ALERT, the chyron screamed.
Johnson then took Fox's outraged-victim message out to the stratosphere. Obama is not just criticizing Fox; he’s threatening the free press that is the bulwark of our democracy. “Ask Thomas Jefferson,” pontificated Johnson. “Ask Alexis de Tocqueville (I might, gentle reader, but they are both sort of like – ahem- dead. Died without having heard of Fox News, poor guys.) “Look at our history. Without a free press, there is not a free America. Without a free Fox, there is not a free America.... Fox is doing its job. ‘Fair and balanced’ means something, especially in a media that’s in the tank across the board, and the President does not like that.”
Doesn’t it make you sleep better at night, gentle reader, knowing that Fox is standing all alone (except for Rush of course) between you and that imperial dictatorial bully in the White House? After this, I expect that Obama will shut the network down and throw all its staff in the slammer. That's what imperial dictators generally do.