If anyone on the planet still thinks America Live is an “objective” news program, as Fox News insists it is, then I strongly recommend watching the clip after the jump in which substitute host Greg Jarrett and reporter Chris Stirewalt sneer and jeer at Attorney General Eric Holder and compare Obama unfavorably to disgraced President Richard Milhous Nixon.
It started when Jarrett began talking about a “rather humorous” column called “Richard Milhous Obama.” That gave Jarrett an opportunity to quote liberally from the article likening the two presidents while a graphic on the screen blared, “OBAMA & NIXON.” Speaking to guest Stirewalt, Jarrett asked, “Fair point? What do you think?”
Not quite fair, thought Stirewalt. Why? Because Obama is too passive.
Certainly, we have not seen allegations of abuses against the press of this magnitude since Nixon. That’s definitely true. But here’s a major difference I would see. Major difference is Nixon was active in the presidency. He was accreting power to himself. It was about him, it was about those things. Obama, on the other hand, constantly casts himself as a role of passive or spectator or waiting to hear what others say …trying to float above the fray but consequently looking passive and ineffectual. So he’d better get going. He’d better channel his inner Milhous and start looking like he’s got some power and got some control.
But the thought escaped Jarrett, maybe because he was too busy channeling his inner Supreme Court Justice. He said derisively, “Yeah, I gotta tell you, a first-year law student would know that what James Rosen did is not a crime. It’s not even a conspiracy. And yet, Eric Holder personally signed off on the warrant that said it was.”
I’ll be the first to admit – and I previously have – that the Rosen case makes me queasy. However, that does not mean that there is nothing more than Rosen’s victimhood worth exploring and discussing. Tommy Christopher notes, “Rosen’s reporting, ironically, likely sparked a North Korean leak investigation, one which probably resulted in more than just email seizures and security badge tracking.” And Reuters offered up a scathing critique of Rosen’s reporting that summarized it as having “compromised his alleged source” and “almost guaranteed to attract attention from the intelligence establishment.” Plus, our own former blogger, Headly Westerfield, found a rather shocking and pro-Nixon falsehood in Rosen’s book about Watergate that probably came from Fox chief – and former Nixon advisor - Roger Ailes.
So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that “objective” Stirewalt would urge Obama to be more like Nixon – even as Fox tries to knock him for being too much like Nixon.
None of that means the government was right to search through Rosen's phone records. But I'm with Christopher when he says that the mainstream media's (and Jon Stewart's) "flacking for James Rosen" does not "protect good journalism, it undermines it."