Obama Makes All Our Annoying Dreams Come True on Fox News

by: Matt Stoller

Sun Apr 27, 2008 at 10:08

Greg Sargent's blog post 'Obama Doesn't "Take Fox On," After All' kind of says it all.  Obama is sucking up to Fox News, and beyond that, the campaign operative who said he would just out and out gave false information.

You can't trust the Obama campaign, they will lie to you to promote right-wing institutions.

Matt Stoller :: Obama Makes All Our Annoying Dreams Come True on Fox News

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Ha ha (4.00 / 5)
For a moment there I thought you were serious. But, of course, it would be ridiculous to be that upset about this. The interview is edited. How do you know what he said about Fox News?

I wish he hadn't gone on Fox. But the interview content was good.

They said it was to air unedited, actually... n/t (0.00 / 0)
[ Parent ]
And Lord knows, they're completely trustworthy.... n/t (0.00 / 0)

I speak only for myself, not for those voices in the next room that won't leave me alone.

[ Parent ]
what? (4.00 / 5)
Did you really write "You can't trust the Obama campaign, they will lie to you to promote right-wing institutions?"

What kind of shrill statement is that? So because of this incident I can't ever trust anything the Obama campaign says because all they want is to promote right-wing institutions? Seriously? Sounds like a taunt from a 5th grader on a playground.

Mixed bag (4.00 / 3)
The adviser who said that is an idiot. Created expectations for Obama that were bound to be disappointed.

I wish he had not gone on Fox, even though I understand the rationale behind the decision after a week where Clinton tried to push the idea Obama was a wimp who can't take tough questions.
That said, the actual interview went surprisingly well. For all the progressive gnashing of the teeth that will go on based on the fact he went on Fox, he certainly helped himself with another section of the population - one he needs to reach out to.
Like it or not, some people watch Fox.

Some people watch Fox. (4.00 / 6)
  None of them vote for Democrats.

 It was dumb of Obama to go on. I don't care if he came across like Cicero -- you don't legitimize right-wing media.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
We don't disagree (0.00 / 0)
As I said, I would rather he had not gone there. I defend him more because I think in the end this is not a big deal and because I am sick and tired of everybody piling on him for the past two weeks from every direction.
But yeah, I would rather he had not gone on Fox.

But last time I checked, you need more than just Democrats to win an election.
Just sayin'

[ Parent ]
Fox's audience is the 28-percenters (4.00 / 1)
  Fox is watched by the hardest-core of the right wing -- the avowed racists, the sexists, the warmongers, the fundamentalists. These are people who under NO circumstances will vote for a Democrat, EVER. No matter how much said Democrat panders to them.

 No Democrat needs the Fox audience to win an election. Not that he's going to get it anyway -- these people will always find an excuse to not vote for him.

 Big tactical mistake by Obama.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
I understand your sentiment, (4.00 / 1)
but I am in complete disagreement.

[ Parent ]
You are wrong (4.00 / 3)
Fox is watched by much more than hardcore Republicans.

Tell you what ? It is like Richard Mellon Scaife. He is a right-wing scummy nutbag.
But his paper is read by a much wider range of the population than right-wing scummy nutbags.
Do I get it ? No. But that's the case. Lots of conservative Democrats and independent watch Fox News. They would not get the ratings they get based on hardcore Republicans.

The world is not black and white, you know. People are much more complex and idiotic than that

[ Parent ]
Is it really a tactical mistake? (0.00 / 0)
Whether we agree with what he did or not, I don't see the downside. Are there lots of progressives who would actually shift their vote to Hillary over this? If so they'd either be crazy or deeply hypocritical, as Hillary has been using the media to promote right-wing frames and values for some time now. Her use of a right-wing media is far more consistent and damaging than a one-off appearance by Obama.

So figuring that he's not actually going to lose progressives over this, why not go on Fox News and perhaps have a shot at doing better among some white Indiana voters?

Finally, we have to remember that like it or not, this is Obama's approach to politics, and always has been. He very strongly believes in crossing the aisles and engaging the other side, and also doesn't see that as a sellout of his own core values. That's part of his core belief set, and it really is sort of like Claude Rains (as Paul noted) for us to "suddenly" discover that about Obama.

[ Parent ]
Not a tactical mistake at all! (0.00 / 0)
He's trying to make inroads with the white working-class/Catholic  vote.  His Fox appearance  is only the first step in trying to throw the "progressive" chunk of his base under the bus in his attempt to reposition himself back in the middle. He's gambling that he can do just about anything to "progressives" because there is absolutely no alternative.

And there is "no alternative' because online Obama supporters have spent the last few months morphing Clinton (in their own minds) into a "Creature from the GOP Lagoon."  

[ Parent ]
sorry bro, she did that to herself. n/t (0.00 / 0)

End this war. Stop John McCain. Cindy McCain is filthy rich.

[ Parent ]
It is, but moreso a strategic mistake. (4.00 / 1)
He's not going to change anybody's mind by appearing on Fox.  Any gains he might make by appearing in front of a few new sets of eyeballs will be small, given the demographics that Wallace's spewings reach, and will be offset by the "caving" spin that his appearance will generate.  It's probably a tactical wash, at best.

But it's a huge strategic blunder.  Fox News exists to prop up the status quo and to do that by helping Republicans gain elected office.  Anything that legitimizes it as a supposed news source legitimizes efforts to use spin, lies and deception to elect Republicans.  Come October when Fox is sliming him with everything they can pull from the fever dreams of the lunatic right, he'll no longer be able to say that they aren't a legitimate news organization, since he legitimized them by consenting to an interview.  

Shutting these filth merchants out from the public discourse will help Democrats now, in 2010, in 2012, and every election cycle thereafter.  Legitimizing them as a new source will help Republicans now, in 2010, in 2012, and in every election cycle thereafter.  Seems like an easy choice to me.

[ Parent ]
Out of touch? (4.00 / 3)
Do you ever talk to anybody who's not a political junkie? If you did, you'd find that a whole lot of people don't know or care about Fox's propaganda function. They see it as just another CNN or MSNBC or even ABC news, but maybe more lively.

Personally I'm really sick of all this pious demand that nobody ever talk to the enemy. Bush says we can't talk to Hamas or Iran, Clinton agrees, and the liberal pile on Obama for desanctifying himself by contact with Fox. This is symbolic emotionalism at its worst. The reality is that, precisely because of its reputation, Fox has probably done less damage to political truth than the aforementioned CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, and all the rest of the "respectable" media. I look forward to the day when liberals quit acting like blue-haired ladies when a mouse runs through the room. Silly squeamishness does not win elections or enhance reputations.

[ Parent ]
Maybe (0.00 / 0)
But you certaintly don't need right-wing republicans to win an election. This is by far the majority of their demographic. Sometimes I feel like Obama thinks it's still December 2002 and that Democrats are on the defensive and need to capitulate to remain competitive. It's like he didn't get the memo that we won in 2006 because we stood up to and drew distinctions with republicans.  

[ Parent ]
Do you know why any Democrat .. (0.00 / 0)
would watch Faux Noise? ... just to keep an eye on the enemy .. so self respecting Democrat watches Faux as their main source of news

[ Parent ]
Do you know why any Democrat would watch Faux Noise? (0.00 / 0)
To watch a sporting event perhaps?

Football, Baseball?

Or are we to write such folks as do that off completely.  Shall I write myself off?

Okay, you say, but that's not Fox News.  Fine, but they advertise it there.

Yes, I know there's a move afoot by a number of progressives to totally cut off all ties with Fox, but might it be cutting of our nose to spite our face?

Myself, given the way MSNBC, CNN, ABC have skewed the Democratic debates with their insistence on flawed-premise questions (Charles Gibson on Capital Gains Tax Cuts, anyone?) there's much to criticize in the non-Fox media as well.  Fox is still the worst of the lot, but what is the strategy here?  If Hillary Clinton is finding votes here, maybe Obama could use some as well?  Or are all Hoosiers latent progressives, needing only to have the blinders pulled from their eyes?

Now talk about getting any future debates moderated by truly neutral people and I might be with you.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
Faux Noise .. (0.00 / 0)
is different from the part of Faux that shows NFL games .. or NASCAR .. yeah it is all run by Murdoch .. but I am specifically talking about the channel that shows O'Lielly and Sean Insanity .. and as far as the rest of the channels .. CNN and the rest aren't any better ... the only thing I watch on MSNBC is KO .. or to watch Tweety continually make an ass out of himself .. and how do you know Hillary is finding votes there? ..  

[ Parent ]
how do you know Hillary is finding votes there? (0.00 / 0)
I don't know.  But

Seems just the other day I heard COMPLAINTS from Obama supporters about this.  Or maybe it was Limbaugh.

fyi, I'm an Obama supporter,  He NEEDS to end this thing.  He doesn't need to strike a blow for progressive, fair, honest news media, however good a thing that might be.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
This democrat (4.00 / 4)
does watch Fox news, and CNN, and BBC, and also reads the newspapers and reads lots of online sources.  Why do I go to all that trouble?  Because everyone of them, including this site, injects bias into their 'stories' that constitute what 'they' think is the news.

Yes, I wish there was a place that just 'reported' actual events, but there isn't.  So, in order to glean the facts from what is reported it is necessary to get information about current events from multiple sources.  Then maybe, just maybe, the fog created by all the bias can be lifted and the truth can be discovered.  The fact is that to be an informed citizen means you must be open to all viewpoints--not just those you agree with.

So, to put it simply, this democrat does watch Fox news.

[ Parent ]
While your approach is frankly ignorant (0.00 / 0)
As in there's no way Fox News is going to provide you anything to help properly assess current events. Further, there is absolutely no correlation whatsoever between "being an informed citizen" and "being open to all viewpoints." Apples and oranges.

However, you are correct that there are Democrats who do watch Fox News. Their reasons may be misguided or foolish, or they're only occasionally Democrats, but they do exist, and a Democratic political campaign has to take that into consideration.

[ Parent ]
Ignorance? (4.00 / 2)
Do you really think that only folks who think like you do are properly informed, or have the 'right understanding' of news sources and content?  Are you really accusing me of ignorance?  

[ Parent ]
There is a difference between being open minded (0.00 / 0)
and informed, and lacking judgement. You seem to lack judgement. Yes, we could keep going to Fox trying to find proof or lack of proof of what we have come judgement to realize is the case with Fox News. Or, we can trust our overall judgement developed over time. If we had an infinite number of hours int he day, sure. Because we don't- then we must rely on judgement.

[ Parent ]
It seems that you are deliberately avoiding trying to understand. (0.00 / 0)
Good judgment implies an open mind, in fact, demands it.

Oh look, it is 2pm.  excuse me but I'm going to listen to what Obama has to say, on Fox news.

[ Parent ]
As I stated above .. (0.00 / 0)
I'll occasionally watch Faux .. but it is to keep informed of what the enemy is doing

[ Parent ]
Bias and fabrication are two different things (4.00 / 1)
  Fox isn't just "biased". Fox MAKES CRAP UP. There's a reason why Fox viewers by and large continue to believe that Iraq had a hand in the 9/11 attacks. And that's just one example.

 I can see a rational person watching Fox for "monitoring" purposes, just to see what they're up to. But actually relying on Fox for information is about as addled as one can get. And those who think Fox disseminates real news are NOT voting for a Democrat.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
Information takes many forms, (4.00 / 1)
not least of which is the content reported by investigative journalists, but also includes the biases which are evident by the editorial threads evident in shows like fox, abc, nbc, cbs, bbc, and sites like openleft, politico, realpolitic, kos, etc.  I do not dispute that fox is purely in the editorial vein, but I also recognize that most of what appears as news today ALSO is in the editorial vein.  Including stuff on this site, case in point: (one of the comments that started this thread) that Obama lies and can't be trusted (paraphrase).

If you really want to pursue this argument then it must begin with a differentiation between editorial stuff and information that comes from proper investigations and reporters who display a certain 'disinterestedness' so then can report events objectively.  To attack one does not increase the credibility of the others.  Each must stand and be judged on its own merits---to do this DOES require an open-mindedness and a genuine desire to know.

[ Parent ]
again judgement (0.00 / 0)
you seem to not be able to appreciate that people are making a judgement call about Fox. Open minded doesn't require blindness.

[ Parent ]
You have NO idea what you are talking about (0.00 / 0)
and shouldn't try to pass it off as otherwise.  Regarding my judgment; it is excellent.

[ Parent ]
well bare assertion as opposed to facts (0.00 / 0)
prove all. like i said judgement.

[ Parent ]
Obama didn't need to do this in order to reach you though (0.00 / 0)
You would hear him other places.  The people who only watch Fox News are statistically proven to be the least likely to ever vote for a democrat.  I believe the statistic in 2004 was that Fox News viewers voted for Bush as a demographic more so than even "Republicans" or "Conservatives" in self-identification questionnaires did.

They're the wingnut-wing of the Conservative faction of the Republican Party.  

[ Parent ]
I agree (0.00 / 0)
Obama's appearance on fox represents for me an anomaly that adds some confusion.  I want to see how this develops, and that will take some time.  I really don't know what to make of it, but pending emergence of the meaning of this event on the primary/election I will continue to support obama; I will not j6st lash out at him as I see others doing on this site.

[ Parent ]
I think (0.00 / 0)
Most of the people "lashing out" at Obama will continue to support him.

This is only about improving him, or teaching a lesson to future progressive candidates viewing this from the sidelines.  We can fail to change Obama's behaviour and still end up with a much better candidate in 2016 or 2020.

[ Parent ]
not really an anomaly (0.00 / 0)
he needs a way to speak to the hordes of dittoheads in Indiana that only hear one side of the story from Rush Limbaugh.   I hope this appearance will at least cause a few of them to think twice about playing Limbaugh's Chaos games.

[ Parent ]
After had to endure these last few (2.00 / 2)
months at places like AmericaBlog, Taylor Marsh, TPM, and DKos, I'd be careful about lobbing a pejorative like "dittohead" at Limbaugh's lemmings. It's starting to look like the pot calling the kettle black.  

[ Parent ]
not a pejorative.. (4.00 / 2)
thats what they call themselves, even limbaugh calls them dittoheads.

[ Parent ]
limbaugh's lemmings? (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
I like alliteration (0.00 / 0)
and that obscured my point. Which is, that the left side of the bolgosphere has seen its own share of ditto-heading this primary season.  

[ Parent ]
you seem to still not understand that ditto-head is not a pejoritive.... (0.00 / 0)
That being said if what you mean to say is blogs that have "jumped the shark," I can think of two prime examples. Mydd and Talkleft.

Hillary LOST get over it!!!

From your posts (where you never mention you are a Hillary supporter) the only things I can conclude is that a) you are a hillaryis44.org reader or b) you are actually a John McCain supporter. Not please don't try to tell me you plan on voting for Barrack Obama...

End this war. Stop John McCain. Cindy McCain is filthy rich.

[ Parent ]
You assume way too much (0.00 / 0)
The candidate I "supported" is no longer in the race. I am pretty OK with either of our remaining two candidates. As I have said before here, I think Clinton edges Obama out on domestic issues, and I agree with Zbig B that Obama's got the better foreign policy team/policy.

I am politically active locally in my city and state, having worked on housing rights issues for 10 years and additionally volunteered for a Dem gov's campaign, and most recently for an assemblyman's. I have been a registered Dem my whole life, and find your "conclusions" pretty hateful.

But not so surprising coming from "supporters" of campaigns who continue to insult and vilify those who would dare to critique one candidate or another.  

[ Parent ]
this wasn't Fox News Channel (4.00 / 3)
These were local Fox affiliates across the country.  Different audience.

[ Parent ]
Excellent point. (0.00 / 0)
Locally, at least here in Chicago, the Fox nightly news is about as respectable as the big networks. I wonder how many of these self-righteous liberals avoid watching the Simpsons, House, American Idol, Mad TV, Family Guy, etc? It's sad that our side of things can't even make the most obvious distinctions among media markets, but it does explain much about our electoral success.

[ Parent ]
"self righteous liberals" (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Many reasons Democrats watch Fox (0.00 / 0)
Check your demographics. Many Americans don't have cable. So they watch the lead-in shows you mention then don't change the channel. Fox's viewers also tend to be older, a demographic Obama could do better in.

Yes, his appearance helped Fox, too, which just fits his narrative frame of ending division, creating win-win situations.

Obama's not going to be a trained pet of anyone - bloggers, liberals, conservatives, because he's a moderate at heart and in deed. He has to paint by the nuance instead of the black and white colors of the MSM soundbite.

And just because he said he wouldn't be a stranger with Fox doesn't mean he's surrendered his right to pick and choose tactically when and where that next meeting best works to his advantage.

Similarly, he's smart enough to recognize who brung him to the dance and he's personally felt some sting from abandonment, so let's not assume that he's going to ditch progressives.

A Black candidate has to work twice as hard to refine tactic and message because the public's tolerance for error is smaller there.

I agree with Matt and Greg that his campaign spokesman set the bar too high, but I don't see anything damaged by his choice to appear there at this juncture. He's just demonstrated he can counter certain narratives before they go viral, without flinching.

Conservative Dems I know find this side of Obama more appealling than his rare moments of smart-ass flippancy that draws cheers from his strongest supporters.

His monetary contributors, if they disagree, can always send a rejection note that says their funds won't be forthcoming if he repeats this specific occurence But I think he's demonstrating calm self-assurance in multiple directions and intend to give him the room for tactical decisions, even if some  aren't things I'd do.

[ Parent ]
Uh. That's not true. (0.00 / 0)
My in-laws have generally voted Republican since Reagan, always watch Fox, but are going to vote for Obama. They know him because we're all from Illinois. I imagine they aren't unique in their liking of him and Obama can reach more of them on Fox than he can by making appearances on other stations.  

[ Parent ]
you have neilson ratings cross referenced against likely registered voters to prove this? (0.00 / 0)
just wondering where these pronouncements of fact come from?

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Facts: People who watch Fox (0.00 / 0)
In 2004, 21% of regular watchers were Dems, according to this study:

[ Parent ]
That's absolutely untrue (0.00 / 0)
I know Democrats who watch Fox "News," although it drives me up a tree, because they are attracted by its bright shiny flashiness.  These tend not to be the most sophisticated voters and for the most part they are fairly low-information, but they certainly do exist, and in substantial number.

Reaching them, and making Chris Wallace turn off his juvenile "taunt clock," makes some sense.  I still don't like it, and I would be highly pissed off if Obama agreed to let Fox host a debate (unless the DNC also gets to host one.)  But facing their interview is a tactical decision on his part, and it does not of itself screw up any broad strategy to ostracize Fox -- these things don't have to be "all or none" to have an effect.

I speak only for myself, not for those voices in the next room that won't leave me alone.

[ Parent ]
I'm Like, All Claude Raines, Ya Know? (0.00 / 0)
"Shocked! Shocked!" Yadda-yadda-yadda.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

Aide (0.00 / 0)
Obama's aide never stated what he meant by "taking Fox on". Greg Sargent interpreted it in a particular way and is today claiming the aide wasn't telling the truth.

I don't like the decision to go on Fox at all, but I understand it. Politicians are always under enormous pressure to reach out to as large an audience as possible. And he may very well have access to internal data that shows this appearance will help him.

At least Fox News viewers got to hear an attack on McCain's support of tax cuts.

[ Parent ]
Well (0.00 / 0)
What the aide was implying was pretty clear. There was not much room for interpretation.
Maybe the aide was talking out of his ass. Maybe Obama was intending to be combative but the fact Wallace was fairly subdued and respectful made it impossible to look agressive so he went along. Maybe the edit cut off some more combative parts.
We don't know. But let's not put that on Greg S.'s head. LOL The aide is the idiot. Should not have spoken beforehand. Period.

For the rest I agree with you.  

[ Parent ]
Trying To Blame Sargent Is Ridiculous! (0.00 / 0)
Sargent is actually bending over backwards not to make the aide out to be what he is--not just a hack, but a knave.

If the aide hadn't meant Sargent to get that false impression, what was the point of talking with him in the first place?

It was to put a lid on pre-emptive push-back from the netroots. That's the only purpose it had, and for that purpose to be acheived, it needed to be taken as a promise that Obama would not deliver on.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I dunno (0.00 / 0)
I heard someone say that he was going to "take on Mt. Everest" -- I assumed that that unambiguously meant that he was going to be criticizing it.

I speak only for myself, not for those voices in the next room that won't leave me alone.

[ Parent ]
Especially when you consider (4.00 / 2)
That this has ALWAYS been his approach to politics. He fundamentally believes in reaching out to and speaking to the other side. How is this any different than his promise to fly to Tehran and meet with Ahmedinejad?

This has always been part of Obama's core value set. It's very much like Claude Rains' character to "suddenly" discover this about him. I made my peace with it long ago.

[ Parent ]
Agreed. (4.00 / 2)
We should expect him to govern this way, too. Freeze progressives in place by having aides insist he will do something different, progressives wait to see if it's true, and find out too late that it's not. Again.

Can't tell you what to do about it, though, since the play is actually pure Clinton, as well. Pick your flavor, I guess.

[ Parent ]
Yes, But Note (4.00 / 2)
that there's a huge difference here as well.

I don't object to talking to conservatives.  What I object to is that Obama validates conservative lies, including the most basic lie that conservative leaders accurately reflect the attitudes of self-described conservatives as a whole.  This is absolutely, utterly false, as 30-some years of General Social Survey data have repeatedly shown.

I expand on this point a bit more in a comment in my new diary, Comment of The Day.  He's negotiating with 1% hardliners, rather than going to the real persuadables.

Now, when we're talking about international relations, there's really no choice.  You've got to deal with elected leadership.  But that doesn't hold for how Obama deals with the domestic right wing.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
While I agree with your general sentiment... (4.00 / 8)
...that Obama shouldn't have gone on FNC, this statement...

You can't trust the Obama campaign, they will lie to you to promote right-wing institutions.

...is really unnecessary. I didn't watch the interview, but I bet you won't see Obama promoting Fox News in any TV promos like a certain chairman of a campaign.

or doing fundraisers with its owner (0.00 / 0)

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Snooze (4.00 / 6)
Much ado about nothing.

I didn't see the interveiw but relying on your source (0.00 / 0)
Obama turned in a perfectly solid performance. He probably succeeded in making a positive impression on many voters he might otherwise not have reached.

Oh my God.  A f***king disaster. Sure, he might get new votes by talking to people he might otherwise not reach but is this really that important at this stage of the primary? He doesn't need no stinkin votes. What about our sensibilities: now our annoying dreams have come true.

I will never trust his campaign again and he lost my vote. He is not campaigning, he is promoting right wing institutions. I am a very serious person.  

John McCain doesn't care about Vets.

What ? (4.00 / 2)
This is a very silly reason to drop your support of a candidate and considering the two alternatives' own relation to Fox, I am not sure I understand it.

And I think he is pivoting to the general election in a sense.  Politicians have to compromise on small things to get elected. It is too bad some people don't get that and lost sight of the big picture.
As I stated before. Not fond of the decision to go on Fox. But it is a small pebble in a huge green garden.

[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure MC's comment was snark (4.00 / 3)
And just to add a little more about Sargent's quote, while "don't go on Fox" is a good general rule, of course it is possible that there might be times where other considerations override it.  And if Sargent's quotation is correct, this may be one of the times.  I agree with the comment above that the people who watch Fox probably aren't going to be voting for Obama, but if he is able to deflate some of the passionate hatred of him then it still might be a good decision overall.  

That said, I agree with a charitable interpretation of "You can't trust the Obama campaign."  You can't trust any political candidate, which is why we need to continue to build progressive power to the point where we don't need to trust them.

[ Parent ]
Is it snark ? (4.00 / 1)
OK. If it is, I feel better. People overreact to things so mcuh lately it is hard to realize what is real and what is not

[ Parent ]
Pivoting? (4.00 / 1)
What a ridiculous thing to say. Obama has been hugging Republicans from the beginning of his campaign. He has been talking Right Wing talking points from the beginning also. That was ACKNOWLEDGED on today's show.

The blind loyalty of Obama supporter is astounding.

If you look at some of the votes he has cast some of which were discussed on the show and consider that when any other Dem who casted those votes when they were cast was 'mobbed' by the Left Blogs. Call in and write-in campaigns were instituted against them. Calls to replace them with more Progressive candidates were put into action...

If any other Dem said what he said today they would be chastised on the blogs...But yet his supporters who say they are Liberal Progressives give him a pass???

This really is the most insane thing I have ever experienced as a Democrat in an election. The Obama community holds other Dems to a higher standard but when it comes to Obama he can piss all over those higher standards and people say pissing on me is good!

I must say that based on all that double standard hypocrisy that not only do I not hold Obama in high regard - I do not hold his pliant supporters in high regard as they do not represent the Progressive community in any way. No for them this is about some false messiah that makes them blind. What makes them upset when other Dems say and do and vote in certain ways is OK when Obama does it and they turn a blind eye to it.

The guy voted for the Bush-Cheney Energy Bill with billions in oil company giveaways and nothing is said about that by them. He votes to confirm a wingnut Judge John Roberts to a lifelong position of fighting and overturning Progressive causes and not a word from them - instead they support that. I could go on and on.

The bottomline is that Obama is no Progressive. He hugs Republicans and has done so since the beginning and did so today and even did so in his concession speech in Pennsylvania and his supporters love him for that. They love the fact that he wants Republicans diluting a Democratic congresses bills and cal it a new Kind Of Politics.

Well sorry but oil company supporting, wingnut judge confirming, republican hugging, and diluting our causes through compromise is not my idea of Progressivism or Progressive activism.

[ Parent ]
Thank you! (0.00 / 0)
I didn't hear the entire interview, but did catch Obama using the term "partial birth abortion," (a GOP made-up term) in the same segment where he threw teachers under the bus with his support of merit pay.  He also missed an opportunity to slam GOP policies in general when Wallace asked him if he could ever stand up to the Democrats and oppose their policies the way John McCain had opposed some Republican policies.    

[ Parent ]
I don't understand (4.00 / 6)
Why we single out Fox News and yet make no criticism of Dems for going on equally as right-wing media outlets such as ABC News or Meet the Press. Every Democratic appearance on those shows or outlets is also a promotion of a right-wing institution. Condemn them all or condemn none.

I'm no fan of Fox, and I would never go there. But if you're a presidential candidate it makes good sense to put in an appearance, especially if you aren't forced to play their game. Obama handled himself well and wasn't forced to play a right-wing game. A net plus for his campaign, whereas it just reminds us that we need to get off our lazy asses and start doing something about the media.

Dobbs (4.00 / 1)
In my view, Lou Dobbs is as bad as anything on Fox. But, does that mean Obama shouldn't talk to Anderson Cooper--just because these two work for the same network? I don't think so. And, I actually think Chris Wallace is less of a joke than Tim Russert (and remember, Wallace was the person who sorta defended Obama on Fox not too long ago). So, Obama's willingness to be interviewed by Wallace doesn't bother me at all. If he showed up at a country music event with Sean Hannity . . . well, that would piss me off, but that's not what happened.

That said, I do think that Fox, as a network, is a little more shameful than the other cable news networks, but all the networks regularly practice irresponsible journalism. To boycott just one of them doesn't make much sense. As Metallica said, "Kill 'em All"

[ Parent ]
Because Fox is a different sort of beast (0.00 / 0)
Yes, there are problems with going on the other major networks, but no one with any sense is going to argue that a Democratic candidate should boycott all such shows.  They need them to reach "elite voters."

Fox "News," though, is not a courtesan for the Republican Party.  Like the Washington Times, it is a de facto organ of the Republican Party.

This is the sort of tactical decision that I leave up to Obama and his advisors.  So long as they don't take away my ability to say that Fox is a defacto arm of the GOP, I don't mind so much.  When they undercut that message, that's when I would get pissed.

I speak only for myself, not for those voices in the next room that won't leave me alone.

[ Parent ]
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (4.00 / 7)
The Good: Obama did well in the interview.  The questions bordered on the ridiculous for the first two segments, and I thought he batted down Wallace's arguments pretty persuasively.  This will also play well to the village, who will report that Obama went onto hostile Fox News, the lion's den of the right wing, and answered questions effectively.  It also rebuts Hillary's suggestion that Obama can't answer tough questions.

The Bad: Obama should not have gone on Fox News.  It unnecessarily legitimizes right-wing propaganda.  That's been said here dozens of times, and I agree.  He did not "take on Fox News," he answered the questions and was pretty cheerful about it.

The Ugly: A week after the blogosphere came to his defense in an unprecedented way, slamming ABC News, making the moderators' despicable performance the issue, Obama turns around and legitimizes this type of idiocy by going on a quest for the holy grail of triviality, the Fox News interview.  The Netroots really went to bat for him after the Gibson charade.  Playing into the village concept of politics by going on Fox News soon after that is disappointing, to say the least.

Nailed It Perfectly. (0.00 / 0)
I can stop reading comments now.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Obama Faux Surge a Success! (0.00 / 0)
Well, from what I've seen (TMP's summary) and read, it appears this was a tactical success and strategic failure.  Pretty predictable.  But I suspect it will help Obama win the nomination, which is obviously his first priority.

But from what I saw, it looks like  Faux is a big winner.  The questioning was quite calm and respectful (in a Fauxy sort of way) that will lead the casual observer to believe Faux is no different than any other news source.

We'll see over the coming days if Faux can come up with an anti-Obama sound bite from the interview to play over and over.  So far it doesn't appear there is one, but they'll certainly try.

It would have been nice if Obama at least gave a rationale for not appearing on Faux in the past.  That would have at least gotten some play.  Oh well, the damage is done.  Probably a net positive for Obama and Faux and a net negative for the rest of us.

[ Parent ]
Anti-Obama sound bites (0.00 / 0)
The FNS commentators couldn't find one in the segment following the interview.  

The best they could come up with was his apparent lack of policy points.  It was basically a Clinton Love Fest.  

Brit Hume told us that if Wallace had given Clinton such an opening to talk policy - she would have had a list and spelled out detailed policy points...but Obama, not so much.  Bill Kristol was much the same - he said it flat out - Clinton is clearly the better candidate because Obama was so lacking in substance.

So, the best they could do was promote Clinton.

Oh, the "liberal" commentators?  Beyond useless.  But, that's by design.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
lanny davis and dan gerstein are obama surrogates? (4.00 / 1)
if that's not sarcasm, it is the dumbest statement of the season.

I'm still a little unclear on what was to be gained... (4.00 / 3)
... by a continued boycott of Fox News.

Not watching Fox News bc it is crap is one thing, but a boycott is another.  Seriously, what's the plan to either get Fox News to change or marginalize it to LaRouche end of right-wing ridiculousness?  

If I recall correctly, the original point of the boycott was to stop a Dem debate from airing on a network that was fundamentally hostile to Dems.  We're past that point now, so why continue?

Boycotts make sense if you can use them to leverage an institution to make a change to its policies - like changing its anti-union stance, or stopping its pollution of a river, etc.  I don't see the Fox boycott doing this anymore.  Once the boycott becomes a moral badge - a way to distinguish one's better political judgment from others, it ceases to be effective.


Boycotting the debayes was GREAT (4.00 / 1)
Interviews....not so much, no big deal.....
especially as Hillary and her supporters muck up the Democratic Party and the progressive movement, but Matt and other progressive bloggers IGNORE that completely

[ Parent ]
What was so "great" about not debating on FOX? (0.00 / 0)

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
I'm not sure I fully grok Paul's (4.00 / 1)
"splitting the media' argument as a rationale for Obama's team putting him on Fox, at least as a campaign tactic. How would "splitting the media" advance his campaign, how would that help to make inroads into those resistant-to-him white working class voters, Catholics and white women?

Jerome Armstrong makes a much better argument, at least tactically for him to appear on enemy territory. If I may quote:

Obama kicking the 'dailykos-americablog-moveon-thenation' secular warrior partisans out of the way to make room for the pivot to 'the center' (and recapture the image of a part of his base he previously held).

That makes sense to me. He thinks he can still hold onto the well-to-do whites, blacks and young Dem voters that are his core of support. I think he can too, despite the dismay of some progressive bloggers. (See any discernable diminution of fervor by his supporters on this blog?) And by refocusing now on his Unity Theme (moderate Dems/GOPs/Indys-Together) he hopes to draw  some of those Clinton Dems back into his fold.

The Fox appearance was both a direct appeal and a dog-whistle to conservatives and moderates.  

are we allowed to say this in blogosphere? (0.00 / 0)
You can't trust the Obama campaign, they will lie to you to promote right-wing institutions.

wow, didn't know anyone was allowed to say things like this.

Matt you can be annoying!!!!! (4.00 / 2)
Harping on Fox and ignoring Hillary's Republican orientated campaign which is actually worse. Who cares IF Obama goes on Fox, to interview, he wouldn't debate on Fox which is a bigger issue,imagine debating on Fox with reTHUG talking points from the moderators and Hillary?????
So let's have some posts about what a horrendous ReTHUGlican campaign Hillary is running against a fellow Dem, and stop the Fox nonsense, or are you STILL claiming you are being fair....Yeah right...it is now obvious more than ever...your agenda...I know Joe Trippi has your ear, but wake up...Edwards isn't running anymore.

And Obama is lying "TO PROTECT right wing institutions" by doing an interview on Fox...LAUGHABLE......Is that comparable to you saying Taylor Marsh (a right wing REAGAN DEMOCRAT Hillary supporter) is comparable in talent to Digby? Are you praising right wing style propaganda institutions like Marsh?
Well as a fellow Dean supporter, with your criteria, Howard Dean was protecting the right wing institution known as the Clinton campaign by his waffling and fudgeing on MTP today!

as I am old enough to be your mother (4.00 / 3)

I tell you this with great love and affection - as a parent would -

Wow (4.00 / 1)
LOL Matt... you have go to be joking.

Promote right-wing institutions? It's FOX, it's a channel, it's biased towards the right like MSNBC is biased towards the left.

Should McCain NEVER go on any other channel? He's SUPPOSED to be talking to everyone, that's the point of his party.

Stop hating and start appreciating.

MSNBC .. biased towards the left? .. (0.00 / 0)
Care to explain that one?  Just because they have Olbermann and Maddow on?  If that's the case ... then Faux is biased too .. just because they have Alan Colmes on

[ Parent ]
Hillary Cozied Up To Right-Wing Media Long Before Obama (4.00 / 3)
"You can't trust the Obama campaign?"

Hillary cozies up to Scaife and Murdoch (remember his fundraiser for her) before this, and one appearance on Fox and Obama is slimed?

Come on.  

I was livid with Hillary over Scaife (0.00 / 0)
So I certainly shouldn't give Obama a pass for cozying up to Fox.

I'm pretty damned pissed about it.  I don't like it when ANY prominent Democrat lends his or her credibility to those who are doing their best, day in and day out, to ensure that America remains in the hands of the wingnuts and the corporations for which they stand.

[ Parent ]
The interview was fine. I have Republican family (0.00 / 0)
who still watches Fox even though they're going to vote for Obama (they got to know him because he's from Illinois). It's consistent with the entire theme of his campaign.  

Wallace was a lot more reasonable than Dem Stephanopoulos was in last debate (4.00 / 3)
after watching it looked to me like it turned out to be a great opportunity for Barack to actually talk about the challenges being put to his campaign, certainly far more than in the joke that was the ABC Debate.

Sometimes I think there is a habit of political bloggers being stuck in a mode of outrage. I've suffered from it myself, and then on reflection had to pull back and say, what they heck am I getting all worked up about? I think Barack made a sound strategic decision for his campaign; this business about lying and trust because he didn't meet whatever rabid attack dog standard left bloggers defined is just ridiculously over the top and really a dumb thing to get wound up about.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
what is this? (0.00 / 0)
You can't trust the Obama campaign, they will lie to you to promote right-wing institutions.

Are these your words Matt or did someone else edit your diary after posting it?  

CALM DOWN (4.00 / 6)
Obama is all about conversation with the other. Haven't you read his books? He is a grown-up. We are not going to fix all that is broken without building some impossible bridges. Difficult, yes. Fraught, for sure. But he's the only person I see on the horizon with even the slightest hope of beginning this hard and essential process.

Matt's fainting couch (0.00 / 0)
Good thing Matt's securely seated on his fainting couch as he makes this important statement. I'd hate to see him fall and hit his head. He might hurt his fragile little beautiful mind. Then we'd all really be deprived of such informed insight. Oh the horror of the thought!

[ Parent ]
Exactly! This is who he is. (4.00 / 1)
I find it funny that a lot of people are so riled up about Obama going on FOX. This is who he is. He has always been about talking to our enemies (which includes FOX as well).

I was slow to come around to supporting Obama even though I had always liked him as a person. I really wanted a fighter. Since then I realized that his approach of reaching out and collaboration would get us much further.

Anyone supporting Obama should do so with open eyes. He will talk to people we detest, he will make compromises we wouldn't make, still he will move this country to a much more progressive era. I know this sounds counterintuitive to many activists. Still, this is a truly progressive approach to solving problems.

Please, go over to DailyKos and read eugene's diary This is Who Obama Is. He relly gets it.

[ Parent ]
I read the transcript and ... (4.00 / 2)
If Wallace had gone after Obama like the ABC Beagle Boys, I'm confident that Obama would have gutted him like a fish.

But Wallace didn't.  He asked his questions in a straightforward manner (you might not like the questions, but they are out there), and Obama answered.  Wallace didn't bait, didn't snipe.  Obama was able to say what he needed to say without interruption.

In some ways, it was a replay of the ABC affair, but done right.  Without Hillary in position to pile on, leaving Obama in the crossfire.

Once they moved to policy, Obama turned it on McCain.  His "temperment" remarks at the end were magnificent, in contrast to "trollop" McCain.

As for the argument that only the 28%-ers watch Fox, at the risk of being intemperate, that's just stupid.  For instance, there are many who would tune in JUST TO HEAR OBAMA.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

My only comment (0.00 / 0)
This post lacks any sense of content to what was said on Faux News. In posting it - we officially know where Stoller stands regarding the Democratic Nomination. Truly disappointing indeed.

Unless of course it is pure snark and which point ya "got us"

If not NOW, when?

that's a bit over the top, IMO (4.00 / 1)
Okay, so insofar as Stoller implied (by saying, "they will lie to you to promote right-wing institutions") that Obama was motivated by a desire to benefit right-wing institutions, the quote was pretty ridiculous.  But nevertheless it seems reasonble enough to claim that Obama's appearance benefitted Fox.  And more importantly, the idea that we shouldn't trust Obama's campaign to be benevolent if they are not held accountable by people like us seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to say even by someone (like me) who supports Obama and thinks he might be a game-changing candidate.

I, however, am not convinced that costs associated with a violation of the "no Fox" commandment outweigh the benefits of Obama's appearance.  

[ Parent ]
Matt you are wrong (4.00 / 4)
Fox News is an oxymoron.  I wish Obama had not gone on the program, but he had apparently given his word that he would sit down with them.  Gosh, he even agreed to sit down with the fatuous Bill O'Reilly.  What does that show? That he is unafraid of talking to people he profoundly disagrees with.
Obama talks to racists all the time.  As a Presidential candidate, he sets an example of how to deal with your adversaries.  Of course we despise Fox and the right wing media.  Unfortunately many people in our country are moved by the vitrol spilled by Fox and vote accordingly.  

Barack used Chris Wallace's show to discuss his views. He came across as human and likable. He does not sprout horns.  Your comment that the Obama campaign lied and can't be trusted is over the top and uncalled for.

I expect rational thought when I tune into Open Left.  Let's not poison the media narrative with hysteria.

It is not hysteria .. (0.00 / 0)
how many diehard Faux viewers vote Dem? ..   very few if any ... besides why don't we hold our elected leaders to the same standard? .. why does the Boy King go on Air America? .. and that goes for any of the other Rethuglicans as well .. we do the Dems always have to compromise and sell out? .. or legitimize right wing hacks like Faux Noise?

[ Parent ]
Grow The Hell UP (4.00 / 1)
People who are upset by this interview need to grow the Hell up.  You sound like a bunch of goddamn Republicans.  Fox is not going to go away.  Neither is Iran or Syria or China or North Korea.  I find it incredibly hypocritical that the same people who claim to support Obama's position when it comes to negotiating with the enemy, are now whining like a bunch of babies because he did an interview on Fox.  What a bunch of hypocritical fucking pantywaists.  

You want blood?  Choose Hillary.  You want to see problems get worked out in a calm, deliberate way?  Then Obama's your guy.  But quit your fucking bitching.  

Why do political blogs continue to rely on YouTube?!!! (0.00 / 0)
The video says its unavailable. Supporting your own video server is not that hard. There is lots of free technology out there to do so. What ever is up Google's ass about various videos posted to its site is far too limiting and too annoying for anyone really trying to produce news to deal with. Please stop using fucking YouTube.

Now, back to the conversation at hand, what's the big freaking deal about Obama going on Fox? The dude is trying to win an election for the most powerful position on the planet. His going on Fox and giving the best presentation of himself is the only thing that matters. Turning the interview into a pitched condemnation of Fox at this moment in time is probably not the best way for Obama to win Fox viewers. Taking a highly confrontational stand with Fox at this moment would certainly be a risky move. I think the critics of this interview and what is was "supposed" to be or not supposed to be about need to get a broader perspective on what the goal here is. Seriously.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

Dems don't watch Fox - misses the point (4.00 / 1)
I've never watched Fox in my life, but I know that there's been an Obama watch and Obama hasn't been on the channel for a looong time.  I also know there's no corresponding Clinton watch.

That kind of thing gets fed into a media narrative about who a candidate is.  You don't have to actually watch Fox to be subjected to that narrative, especially when your opponent is spinning a story that says you haven't been vetted (going on Fox at least gives you the appearance of being vetted by your opponents) and that you are a wimp who can't take tough questioning.

And now, after still not watching Fox, I know that Obama went on and managed to come out alive.  

It's not just what you watch that counts.  It's what you hear about what other people watch.  We get an enormous amount of information "second hand".  That all counts too.  And there must be quite a few potential voters who will be influenced by such things.

I don't care if Hilary or Obama go on (4.00 / 6)
Fox News.  Going on Fox News mean that we can't trust Obama?  That's just as asinine as saying that we can't Obama because he doesn't wear a flag pin.  

If Obama gave press only to progressives.. (4.00 / 3)
He'd be left with very few alternatives.  Maybe he should boycott corporate owned MSNBC, CBS, CNN, and ABC too.  Yeah, that's the ticket.  He'd never be president, but hey.. at least he'd be in the good graces of the progressive blogs..    

A post so narcissistic, it gets it's own YouTube clip! (4.00 / 2)

Apologies to all for apostrophizing a possessive "its." If only I had Haloscan to blame. (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
The problem with Faux News (0.00 / 0)
I think Matt's post and most of the comments show that most have forgotten what the problem is with Faux News.  The problem is not that Faux is a right-wing institution.  There is nothing wrong with a conservative tv version of Air America and no reason why strong, progressive Democrats shouldn't appear on such a station.

The problem is Faux claims it is fair and balanced and simple an alternative to the "liberal media" offered by every other news source.  What is unacceptable is the promotion of Faux as a legitimate, unbiased news agency.  

From Matt's tone it appears he would have a problem with a Democrat appearing on Faux even if it promoted itself as "the conservative voice you can trust to deliver the news" or something like that.  If I'm correct on Matt's opinion, I disagree.

In fact, Obama could have simply stated at the beginning of the interview that his problem with Faux isn't that it is conservative, but that it pretended to be unbiased.  Just a 30 second case against Faux as unbiased would have gotten a fair amount of air play and helped in the case against Faux instead of hurting.

Maybe it's all about Indiana? (4.00 / 1)
Take Indiana and North Carolina and this thing is over.  Indiana is neck and neck.  Every vote counts.  Hillary's going there.  

What's a progressive to do?  Vote Nader?  And if HE should go on Fox?

You don't really believe Obama's motivation here is to promote right-wing institutions, do you.  time to chill, Matt.  Much worse has happened this season.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.


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