It only took nine months, but the Obama Administration has finally gotten the memo that Fox News Network is in fact, not their friend. “We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, told the New York Times Sunday. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”
Dunn had the same message for CNN. “Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party," Dunn told CNN, adding, "let's not pretend [Fox is] a news organization like CNN is."
So it’s war. After getting punked by Glenn Beck on Van Jones, and relentlessly pummeled by the birthers, and ambushed at health care town hall meetings all summer, a focused anti-wing nut strategy is long overdue. But what Dunn doesn’t seem to realize is that there are now essentially two Americas with radically different streams of information. There is the CNN America and Fox News America. (This split is widening every day; Even the conservative CNN pundit Lou Dobbs’ is rumored to be considering defecting to Fox. ) By even using CNN and the New York Times as the place to declare war, Team Obama is preaching to the proverbial choir.
Break out the big guns on the haters, yes, but just don’t announce it when you do.
UPDATE: More from New York mag about why declaring war could be a big mistake: Chris Rovzar writes:"If Team Obama ignores Fox, it just gives the network's talent the chance to further caricature him as a socialist, foreign, effete, America-hating Other…legitimizing Fox News in this manner seems nearly as bad. Either way, he's playing their game."
Obama, you need more people.