I've been torn over how I feel and have been feeling about Obama snubbing FOX during this past Sunday's Obama-thon.
I first heard about the White House not including FOX in his media blitz when White House spokesman Josh Earnest told ABC News that they "... figured Fox would rather show 'So You Think You Can Dance' than broadcast an honest discussion about health insurance reform."
Earlier in an interview, Press Secretary Gibbs said, "I do hope the viewers of FOX will find a way to watch this speech tonight," Gibbs said. "I know the network, instead of dealing with the reality of millions of people on health insurance reform have decided to show a reality show called 'So You Think You Can Dance?'"
A part of me - the catty pithy part - thought it was a good decision, albeit catty and pithy and not quite the motive we'd want from the President.
That led to my next string of thoughts. Why not go on FOX? Obama is more than a match for any of the hacks on FOX. He's proven himself plenty of times as a charming, eloquent, and intelligent speaker. He can think on his feet, knows the material, and argues well. Besides, the viewers who watch FOX are inundated with the likes of Beck, Hannity, and O'Reilly. These are the people who need to hear this message the most. These are the people he needs to reach out to.
Shouldn't Obama be doing everything he can to knock some sense into these people? Why pass up an opportunity to dispel the lies of euthanizing old people, killing Medicare, and insuring illegals? Surely he's read the Art of War. "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." Surely his hypnotic witch doctor ability to put people at ease and explain things would convince the whack jobs and the whack jobs who listen to whack jobs to consider an alternative to what we have now and explain to them in plain English why the status quo is simply not working any more. That something needs to be done. Something that will benefit them and their families.
The problem with that idealistic view however, is that it would rely on FOX accurately presenting facts. Unedited, unaltered, and without bias. Something that seems to be a real hurdle for the folks at FOX. Like when producers would rather direct the news than report it by rallying crowds for the cameras and for effect. Could a station that relies completely on video editors really be trusted with an interview as important as this?
After watching Obama address the joint session of Congress I treated myself to the usual post speech wrap up and analysis on CNN and MSNBC. Out of curiosity and an unnatural need for torture I switched to FOX and watched Bret Baier. He had three "experts" on his show, and all of them agreed that Obama's address was a complete disaster. So much for fair and balanced reporting.
I have to a agree, to a certain extent, with Thomas de Zengotita when he says, "There is no such thing as "Fox News." Every citizen with a platform -- every politician, writer, professor, every talking head in the land who still has a conscience -- should shun Fox, too."
Why would anyone subject themselves to a FOX interview? Why try to show your side and argue your point to people who have not only made up their minds, but made up the minds of their viewers as well? Unless you're at the end of the line and still haven't had the 15 minutes of fame Andy Warhol promised you there's really no need to be on FOX.
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