Bob Franken

The Meeting: A Fox in the White House

What possibly could the Fox News executive and President Obama’s press secretary have to talk about? Surely they weren’t negotiating some sort of truce to end the silly War of Petulance the President’s peeps have declared on Fox. Say it ain’t so.

Were they describing some sort of quid pro quo? Did the administration offer to recognize that news media have the right to be critical of a president no matter how little he is used to it? Did the Fox guy offer to lighten up, to be a little less shrill about FNC’s biases. Does this mean there will be no more ” Tea Parties”? Let’s hope not.

Let’s be clear: The Tea Parties are partially the contrivance of a network that has mad geniuses in its PR department. After all it manipulated the thin skins at the White House to do the one thing that would inspire even more survivalists to watch. It singled out Fox for punishment. Never did punishment feel so good.


It doesn’t matter that Fox News coverage largely keels far to the right. It doesn’t matter what direction the other networks slant things or whether they try to tiptoe down the middle. It is not up to a White House, or anyone in government to determine who is valid among the major news organizations and who is not, based on what they happen to like.

If I recall, President Obama took some courses in the Constitution at some point. So he should know he can’t allow his particular irritations to cause his courtiers to go scrambling out and smite those who annoy him in the media. We don’t do “Off with their heads” here.

As for the heads of Fox, there shouldn’t be enough to discuss to even do a meeting at the White House. There are any number of highly impolite ways to express all they need to say, or they can clean it up with a variation of their own slogan “We Report, You Decide Whether to Like it or Lump it”.

The Obama people have been taking their lumps for all this silliness and rightfully so. Acting out this frivolous way has elevated Fox and demeaned the President along with his top aides. Here’s another slogan for them: “Grow up!!”

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