The former Bush’s Brain, Karl Rove was on Fox News Sunday today where defended Fox News and compared Obama to Richard Nixon. He also claimed that the president is demeaning the presidency by keeping an enemies list, and picking out enemies in the media.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
Terry McAuliffe said that people were annoyed that Fox didn’t cover Obama’s healthcare address to Congress, this led to Rove to reply, “ Fox News carried the president’s speech to Congress it was Fox the entertainment channel, so Anita Dunn was not attacking Fox the entertainment channel, they were attacking Fox News, and look there are lots of objectionable things said on MSNBC, and NBC, on cable channels, and CNN for every president for them or against it, and that ought not to be the standard by which a White House determines whether or not it is going to demonize a news channel as an enemy, and they called it an enemy, a White House enemy.”
He then compared Obama to Nixon, “That is over the top language. We heard that before from Richard Nixon, and we have this White House prone to that kind of attitude, and it’s not helpful. It is demeaning to the president. The president of the United States should not be picking out enemies in the media like that, personalizing it, and allowing his people to personalize it as well.”
Rove later added, “Let’s not kid ourselves, this is a White House engaging in its own version of the media enemies list, and it’s unhelpful for the country, and undignified for the president to do.” Oh how soon they forget. Has Karl already forgotten about the Bush administration’s very public war with the New York Times and other media outlets?
Rove constant mention of Obama being undignified and demeaning the presidency is straight out of the playbook he devised to defeat the Democrats in 2000. George W. Bush campaigned for his first term on the basis of restoring honor and dignity to the White House after the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. Rove was trying to paint Obama with the same broad brush.
All presidents and the media have an adversarial relationship, but it is hypocritical for Rove to be complaining about Obama and FNC when he worked in administration that constantly political motivated revenge. From the outing of Valarie Plame to firing of the US attorneys, the Bush administration was all about abusing power for the purpose of political payback.
The case of Obama and Fox News is different from the traditional hostility between the White House and the media due to the level of political advocacy that FNC engages in. Fox News has been openly advocating and promoting Republican events and causes. Rove is not only ignoring his own past, but also forgetting that it was Fox News that labeled itself the enemy of Obama, and with the tea parties moved from journalism to partisan political activity.