Free Markets, Free People

White House v. FOX News 2.0

Apparently, instead of backing off of its ill-advised attack on FOX News (there was word of a truce), the White House seems to have decided to kick it up a notch – by using intimidation tactics:

At least one Democratic political strategist has gotten a blunt warning from the White House to never appear on Fox News Channel, an outlet that presidential aides have depicted as not so much a news-gathering operation as a political opponent bent on damaging the Obama administration.

Political consultants are a staple of cable television talk shows, analyzing current events based on their own experiences working on campaigns or in government.

One Democratic strategist said that shortly after an appearance on Fox he got a phone call from a White House official telling him not to be a guest on the show again. The call had an intimidating tone, he said.

The message was, “We better not see you on again,” said the strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to run afoul of the White House. An implicit suggestion, he said, was that “clients might stop using you if you continue.”

In urging Democratic consultants to spurn Fox, White House officials might be trying to isolate the network and make it appear more partisan.

I’m not sure how anyone can be surprised by such tactics. No one is surprised when a jackal acts like a jackal are they? Then why should anyone be surprised when an Alinsky trained Chicago politician acts like an Alinsky trained Chicago politician?

The White House, quite naturally, denies that any of this is happening.  But one Democrat is confirming it:

But Patrick Caddell, a Fox News contributor and a former pollster for Democratic President Jimmy Carter, said he has spoken to Democratic consultants who have been told by the White House to avoid appearances on Fox. He declined to give their names.

Caddell said he had not gotten that message himself from the White House. “They know better than to tell me anything like that,” he said.

Caddell added: “I have heard that they’ve done that to others in not too subtle ways. I find it appalling. When the White House gets in the business of suppressing dissent and comment, particularly from its own party, it hurts itself.”

Suppressing dissent and comment? Say it ain’t so!

This “hope and change” is good stuff – let freedom ring!

~McQ

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23 Responses to White House v. FOX News 2.0

  • I have heard…

    … spoke on a condition of anonymity…

    …had not got the message from the WH himself…

    The aide spoke on condition of anonymity…
     
    Umm.  Is there one single verifiable White House source in Nichols’ article???
     
    Look, there is no debate that the WH is inexplicably waging a “war” on FoxNews.  But shouldn’t you be leery of anonymous sources?
    I mean, you certainly were during the last administration… Even when singing from anonymous sources had, like these, songs of credibility.
     
    I guess only time will tell.
    I don’t doubt the story, but I’ll hold my definitive answer until I see an otherwise unexplained total lack of “Democratic strategists” from FoxNews.
     
    Cheers.

    • The author of the piece talks with one “Democratic strategist” who tells him of a personal experience, but prefers his name not be used because he assumes there would be negative repercussions if he did so. A reasonable request given the charge. But, as you point out, only one source.

      One Democratic strategist said that shortly after an appearance on Fox he got a phone call from a White House official telling him not to be a guest on the show again. The call had an intimidating tone, he said.

      But you must have stopped reading there, because Pat Caddell then personally confirms the story:

      But Patrick Caddell, a Fox News contributor and a former pollster for Democratic President Jimmy Carter, said he has spoken to Democratic consultants who have been told by the White House to avoid appearances on Fox. He declined to give their names.

      He has “spoken to” other “Democratic consultants” who’ve been told the same thing that the author’s source has been told.

      He declines to name them for the same reason.

      To doubt this you have to believe the author and Caddell are making this all up which is much bigger stretch, given the WH’s attacks on FOX, than believing the WH has been involved in doing this.

      The point is, not all anonymous sources are the same, especially when you have a named source who is credible relating exactly the same story and refusing to name his sources for their own protection.

      • True that,
        But,
        Even Caddell doesn’t mention who his source is.  It all comes back to the fact that there is no verifiable White House source.
         
        I don’t know who Caddell is.  But since he is a paid FoxNews contributor, his claims are not exactly solid gold.  One could ask many questions as to Caddell’s credibility.  Where is Caddell’s bread being buttered now?  Why would a paid contributor’s position be held as gospel?
        We know that there have been many politicians and political pundits switch sides merely because it is in their personal best interest to do so.  Dick Morris, Arlen Specter, David Brock, John Dean, the list goes on and on.
        You know this.   It’s all one big con-game.
         
        Just because Caddell is/was/maybe a Democrat, and a former pollster for Jimmy Carter, and now a FoxNews contributor, doesn’t make his word unquestionable.
        Where does Caddell see his future?  Hmm?
         
        I trust no one with “anonymous sources.”  Sorry.
         
        Cheers.

        •  It all comes back to the fact that there is no verifiable White House source

          ***

          Do you honestly think there would be one? I’m sure Gibbs will get right on that for you!
          I’m not saying you don’t have a (prickish) point about anon sources, but the difference here is there IS a source willing to go on record in this article. You can evaluate his credibility and decide for yourself. In this case, I’ll choose to go on the “where there’s smoke there’s fire” theory. 

          • I’m not saying you don’t have a (prickish) point about anon sources, but the difference here is there IS a source willing to go on record in this article.
             
            Well, shark, as a fellow commenter who often uses his prick to point things out, I do not dispute your ability to recognize prickishly pointing things out.
            But there is no difference here.  There IS no source willing to go on record.  There IS  no verifiable White House source.
             
            Understand?
            If not, then I will be glad to (prickishly) point that out for you.
             
            Cheers.

          • I love the “verifiable White House source” demand – do you really believe the White House would verify it was using strong arm tactics on Democratic consultants to warn them away from FOX?

            Really?

        • And there’s a very good reason Caddell doesn’t say so – it would be detrimental to the source (this is about intimidation, remember?). Most likely the sources wouldn’t give him permission to use their names. However, the fact that he doesn’t name them doesn’t mean he didn’t talk to them or that their stories aren’t true. And, the fact that he and the author of the story have each talked to sources with the same experience separately gives the story credibility.

          Like I said, there are times to distrust anonymous sources because there’s no good reason to remain anonymous and times to understand why sources would wish to remain anonymous. This story falls into the latter category.

          • Like I said, there are times to distrust anonymous sources because there’s no good reason to remain anonymous and times to understand why sources would wish to remain anonymous. This story falls into the latter category.
             
            Oh, I understand.  The time to trust anonymous sources is when they state things that fall into your reasoning.  The time to distrust anonymous sources is when they don’t.
             
            Oh yeah, Magua understands QandO very well. ;)
             
            Cheers.

          • So instead of actually understanding the point, you avoid it in favor of a cheap shot at my integrity?

            Nice.

          • So instead of actually understanding the point, you avoid it in favor of a cheap shot at my integrity?
             
            I don’t know what point of your post you don’t think I understand.  I’m just trying to get you to understand that “anonymous sources” are typically unreliable.
            You know, just like you tried to explain here, here, here, here, and here.
             
            Oh, but this time it’s different.  Because… these unreliable sources are…

          • It is different for the reasons I said – which, for whatever reason, you seem to want to ignore. They’re not “anonymous” they’re just not named. Caddell and the author know precisely who they are but for the protection of the those who were on the other end of the intimidation, they aren’t naming them. In fact, the author even explains that. And the fact that both the author and Caddell talked with people who were recipient of those calls and thus verify that they were made gives the story credibility.

            That’s completely different than some guy saying “an anonymous source says” and then offers no other means of corroborating what the anon source says. We have corroboration in this story.

        • I don’t know who Caddell is.  But since he is a paid FoxNews contributor, his claims are not exactly solid gold.

          Thanks for demonstrating the Genesis Fallacy.  Caddell’s credibility does not depend on his employer.

        • “I don’t know who Caddell is”

          Where have you been the last 30 years?
           Here;   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Caddell

          “But since he is a paid FoxNews contributor, his claims are not exactly solid gold”

          Another example of Fox Derangement Syndrome.

  • I would expect that the sources for stories like this will continue to be (and continue to remain) anonymous.  I’m curious to see how it develops, though.  One or two anonymous sources make for a very weak story.  But if various news organizations begin to repeat the claim, it could gain traction quickly.  And I would expect to hear from more sources if this is true, because it’s a very egregious overreach by the administration.  I doubt that there are many political consultants who want to be seen as under the President’s thumb, as it dilutes their credibility.

  •  McQ any dem who posts at this blog runs the risk of some misguided conservative taking a cheap shot at his/her integrity.  Turnabout would seem fair.  Especially since it’s you.   (smiley emoticon)

    My take is of course the WH would like to silence Fox, just as the previous WH would have loved to silence msnbc (and others).   But as this WH is finding out any efforts to undo the pundits and or news presented by fox is stumbling on to a  steely resistence from fox and the conservatives who prefer it’s content and/or pundits.  I just wish you wouldn’t pick on Jackals.  I guess that since Anubus had a Jackals head they are fair play. 
    Maybe true, maybe not, time will tell.   We used to use telemetry to track Rattlesnakes (Diamondbacks), and when approached in a non threatening manner would typically just try and run/slither away (chuckle), but poke them with something and you got a whole different reaction.   This WH is finding that out.   

    • “My take is of course the WH would like to silence Fox, just as the previous WH would have loved to silence msnbc (and others). ”

      The previous WH may have wanted the MSM to stop lying just as much as the current one wants Fox to stop reporting actual stories that make it look bad, but it didn’t attack the networks even when it had proof. 
      If in your mind a news organization that actually attempts to be impartial is just like one that is dedicated to getting it’s side elected; and an administration that should have been justifiably upset about proven forgeries and intentioanl bias in media networks, yet did not attack any of those organizations as a whole is just like a WH that falsely accuses a whole because it actually had the gall to report factual stories, that would be an Erb-level moral equivalence.

      • Ted,
        Of course the dems are doing their best to silence Fox,  and my statement of the previous WH would have (never said they did) loved to silence msnbc remains accurate.
        Enjoy the comments concerning Erb-level moral equivalence, that is really “catchy.”   Try esoteric cogitations next time, sounds even more impressive.

        • “Of course the dems are doing their best to silence Fox”

          “Of course…”???
          You mean you actually expect such behavior from the Democrats?? You have no problem with the White House using its power to stifle dissent? You must have loved Nixon.

        • “Of course the dems are doing their best to silence Fox”
          Attemping to silence the media is not just a matter of course in the U.S., but it is for socialist governments. 

          The last WH may have wanted to silence MSNBC, but that’s just a guess on your part; not only did they not ever do it, they never attempted to do it.

          It’s more accurate to say that the last WH had legitimate reasons to silence MSNBC (and CBS and ABC) because there is proof that they are intentionally biased. The current WH wants to silence Fox because of its accurate reports.
          Stating that both administrations would like to silence parts of the media without acknowledging that they are coming at it for completely different reasons is just ignoring the facts to excuse the administrations actions by making it appear that they’re really not much different from the last one.  Sorry, but that is a classic Erb tactic.

  • We will have to wait for the tell-all books. I wonder if Obama aids and appointees will generate these as much as Bush’s did? I doubt it, because the MSM wouldn’t promote them so heavily and we are also early in the term. Plus as socialists they really don’t want money, just power.
    2010 October book release – Van Jones?

  • Pogue Mahone has a point.

    When MiniTru relies upon anonymous sources to trash conservatives or otherwise gore our own oxen, we tend to sneer and disbelieve.  Sometimes, as in the case of the forged memoes, this is entirely justified*.  Sometimes, it is not.

    In this case, many of us here (including me) are inclined to believe the anonymous sources because what they claim jibes with what we expect from this White House.

    However, in fairness, when anonymous sources claimed that Bush was up to all sorts of nefarious and/or stupid things when he was in office, libs believed them for the same reason: they EXPECTED that sort of thing from Bush.  For example, many libs still believe that Bush dodged the draft and hence were (are?) more than willing to accept Cap’n Dan’s memoes without questioning where he got them.

    We all have different standards of “reasonable doubt”, and those standards change depending on the circumstances.  Hypotheticals:

    1.  Both George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama have admitted to drug use in their younger days.  Would you believe:

    (A) A CBS report that anonymous sources in the White House witnessed George Bush using cocaine in the Oval office;

    (B) A Fox News report that anonymous sources in the White House witnessed Barack Obama using cocaine in the Oval office?

    Why or why not?

    2.  George Bush and Barack Obama both had/have close political advisors: Karl Rove and David Axelrod.  Would you believe:

    (A)  A Washington Times report based on anonymous sources in the White House that said that David Axelrod routinely participates in national security briefings and advises the president on Afghan war policy?

    (B) A New York Times report based on anonymous sources in the White House that said that Karl Rove routinely participated in national security briefings and advised the president on Iraq war policy?

    Why or why not?

    —-

    (*) I sometimes wonder if Dan Rather and Mary Mapes realize just how much damage they did not only to their own reputations and CBS News but to media credibility in general when they pulled that stunt.

  • Multiple anonymous sources, whose reliability is vouched for by credible people, alledging conduct that is in accordance with past and current conduct. Barring a conspiracy of Democratic consultants turning on their paymasters or outright lies on the part of Caddell AND swamppolitics.com I tend to think there is something to it.