George W Bush was in town yesterday for a speaking engagement and as expected the protesters were out in full force for the cameras. Nothing out of the ordinary really as GWB has always had this ability to drive the left absolutely nutty, but watching the news last night I wondered just how many of those people protesting would be doing the same thing if it was Obama in town rather than GWB. Afterall the Obama administration has not exactly changed much if anything from the last guy in the way of policy, in spite of what they said during the campaign, and in some ways they have done some things that make GWB look good by comparison.
Case in point: the vilification of Fox News.
Normally in a non bizarro world if a President and their administration tried to control or manipulate the media, or direct opinion on the media, bloggers, the media, and the left would go batshit crazy over these efforts, and rightfully so. But in this case not so much. In fact they are getting support for their efforts from not only some others in the MSM but from lefty groups such as MoveOn.org Contrast that with what would have happened if GWB did the same thing with CNN or MSNBC.
Taken from a more Canadian perspective could you imagine what the reaction would be if PM Harper or someone from the PMO went on to CTV and Global and declared that the CBC was not a news organization because they had an agenda and therefore the CBC and any of their stories should be ridiculed and ignored? Yes it would get ugly and it would get ugly fast. Remember early on when the PM got the PPG all worked up because he had the audacity to try to have some control over HIS OWN pressers and asked reporters to put their names on a list to ask questions? The press and the left went nuts and we are still seeing the effects of that even today in stories from the MSM when they sneak references into their reporting of how the PM likes to 'control' everything.
So where is the outrage on what the Obama administration is trying to do?
Vilifying a news organization because you do not like the stories they are doing about you is not only petty & cheap, it exposes your lack of leadership, thin skin and inability to deal with criticism, and it just reeks of something seen in 3rd world countries and dictatorships and is not what one would expect to see from the leadership of a free and democratic country such as the USA. Wrong is wrong.
There are ways to deal with negative or even slanted press stories, fighting back with the truth is the best IMHO, but the government trying to control/manipulate or even vilify the press is not the way to do it and in fact it is a very dangerous game to be playing in a free and open society. But it is a game that the left, in this case because they dislike Fox News so much, is only too happy to play. The next time this game gets played however the left may not be so supportive and when they scream out in outrage it will ring hollow because the last time it was played everyone will remember that the left were on the side lines cheering it all on.
To be fair there has been some backlash from this coming mainly from the press but you know as well as I that the level of outrage we have seen over this so far is nowhere close to what it would have been if GWB or even PM Harper had done the same thing.