Politico: the Appearance of Marginalization

In its grand tradition of creating news stories ranging from the useless to the misleading, Politico’s lead story today concerns Obama’s strategy of “marginaliz[ing] critics.” This headline — by reporting as extraordinary an event that defines American politics — has the rare virtue of occupying both extremes simultaneously. Good for Politico!

The article targets the Obama Administration’s new approach to Fox News — openly criticize biased coverage where it occurs — as an example of the administration (unfairly?) marginalizing its critics. This new policy has been widely publicized and critiqued, and really, that’s probably a sign that it’s not working as well as it could. But let’s not pretend for a minute that marginalizing one’s opponents is a practice unique to Obama, now or in previous administrations. The practice of rhetorical marginalization is neither original nor unique to Obama, and his opponents have made far, far worse careers of it:

All of the above tactics are far, far worse than the administration’s attempts to delegitimize Fox News. They’re examples of a few pundits playing on the most basic fears of the American people, to distort, mischaracterize, and destroy ideological opponents. Obama’s tactics have the virtue of being substantially more polite, civilized, and — well — accurate.

Really, then, the story isn’t that Obama is “marginaliz[ing his] most powerful critics.” It’s that the administration is finally through letting itself be marginalized, and viciously slandered.


  1. Going after Fox is a REALLY bad idea. All they are going to do is piss off the press corps, who Obama needs more than any other president in recent memory.

  2. YAWN. Bush relied upon the press to sell the American people a war. Obama to, at most, correct misstatements from your side.

    1. I’m not suggesting that Obama not use the media – I’m suggesting he is going to lose them if they keep attacking Fox.

  3. But Fox is marginal. They’re a niche cable news network. Their influence is disproportionate.

    1. Sure – but now you have folks at all the other networks defending them. When folks on MSNBC are being critical fo the administration for going after Fox…the plan is flawed.

      1. I haven’t heard much about the response from the rest of the media – I haven’t been looking for it though.

        Fox deserves to be criticized, but there are better tactics. I would focus on the the misinformation and outright lies, but not bother with the political bias.

        1. ABC hit Gibbs with some extremely tough questions yesterday and I’ve heard several people on MSNBC defend them.

          1. Yes, Jake Tapper and I are no longer on speaking terms. Not that we ever were, but still.

      2. i also haven’t seen any defense of fox by the other networks. they are reporting it, but not necessarily defending it..
        it’s about time that fox was called out for the blatant racist remarks by their pundits and “news (?) people”.
        i don’t see how calling out fox pisses off the press corps.

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